Have you ever seen a photo of yourself and wondered, “When did my posture start resembling that of a muppet?”


We all know that having good posture is good for us, but the struggle to find and maintain it is real. For a more in depth look at the ways good posture improves your entire life, make sure you read our other blog where we show you how to access our free Posture Assessment Tool.


For now, we’re going to give you five of the most effective exercises you can start doing now to get better alignment.



Spinal flexion is the act of rounding forward. Your abdominals are the primary muscles used for this. 


Spinal extension is the opposite of flexion and you use your back and neck muscles to straighten your spine, tilt your head back, and arch your low back. 


While you want to be able to use your full range of motion and be strong in each of these end ranges, the real sweet spot, and most stable position, is in neutral - the position between the two extremes. Neutral is where you want your body to spend the majority of its time.


There is nothing wrong with spinal flexion or rounding forward. However, most of us spend the majority of our time in this chronic state of flexion. 


Sitting on couches puts our bodies in flexion. Sitting at desks looking down at laptops puts our bodies in flexion. Doing anything on our phones or tablets puts our bodies in flexion. Do you see the pattern?


Even those who do manual labor are spending a lot of time in a flexed posture: plumbers, mechanics, nurses, electricians, etc all spend a great deal of time rounding over their work.


Again, there’s nothing wrong with rounding or flexing your spine! But without the counter balancing effect of strong extension muscles, our bodies will default to this hunched position. Too much time in flexion leads to problems - as does too much load under flexion.

Why Is Poor Posture Bad for Your Health? 

Poor posture is one of those “give it an inch, it’ll take a mile” scenarios. It may start in one area of your body (like jutting your neck forward), but before long it’ll travel to multiple areas of your body. 


Since we have another blog on the benefits of good posture, here’s a list of some of the bad stuff that comes from poor posture, for those of you who prefer a little negativity to kick your butt into action. 


  • Neck and back pain
  • Shoulder pain
  • Hip pain
  • Joint degeneration
  • Spinal dysfunction
  • Pins and needles
  • Numbness
  • Poor circulation
  • Restricted breathing
  • Stress
  • Fatigue
  • Tension headaches
  • Jaw pain
  • Tight and painful pelvic floor


    Weakness, without intervention, leads to more weakness. The good news is that strength leads to more strength - provided you stay consistent. Here are 5 of our favorite exercises for stronger, more upright posture.

    Reverse Flys

    This exercise is going to help strengthen your deltoids, middle and lower traps, lats, rhomboids, and your serratus anterior. Now that’s what we call getting a BANG for your buck!!

    1. In the quadruped position, place your left hand on a yoga block and grasp a resistance band or light weight with your right. You can also do this on a bench without the yoga block.
    2. Keep your core braced. Lengthen your spine by reaching your head away from your body. Keeping your arm straight, slowly raise your right arm out to the side, keeping your shoulder blade pressed down toward your back pocket. Lower your arm slowly. Aim for 3 sets of 8-10 reps per side.

    Straight Arm Rotations

    When your shoulders are rounded forward, it can pull your upper spine into an overly flexed position (the inverse is also true - too much flexion in the spine will cause your shoulders to round forward). This exercise strengthens the rotator cuff muscles which will play a part in getting your shoulders back into the proud position they belong!

    1. Stand up with good posture, feet hip width apart.

    2. Lift your right arm straight out to the side with the palm facing down. 

    3. Notice if your shoulders are hunched up. Gently press them down toward your back pockets. 

    4. Now begin rotating your arm and shoulder backward into external rotation. As you do, reach your shoulder out and away from the center of your body. Imagine your back spreading broad like the hood of a cobra.

    5. Reverse it - rotate the shoulder and arm internally until your palm is facing down (or behind you, if you have that range of motion). Then repeat. Aim for 3 rounds of 5-10 reps per side.


    Your “core” isn’t just your abdominals. It includes those, but also your obliques, pelvic floor, diaphragm and back. The plank, when done properly, engages your entire body and helps you hold yourself upright.

    1. Set up on your hands and knees. Be sure to keep your shoulders stacked directly over your wrists for these.
    2. Spread your fingers wide and press your hands into the floor as you drive the shoulders down away from your ears.
    3. Reach your head away from the rest of your body to create length in the spine. You may notice this adds a little more extension in the upper back.
    4. Brace your core and come up onto your toes. Draw your pelvic floor up and in. Hold for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.

    Coach Cues: Remember to breathe. Keep your pelvis neutral - no arching of your low back. Film yourself and aim for a straight line from the crown of your head to your tailbone. If someone were to place a platter on your back, nothing should spill.


    The Superman helps you strengthen your posterior chain (glutes, back extensors, and shoulders). This counterbalances all the passive flexion we typically find ourselves in. 


    Please note: we’ve seen some of you do these in a way that resembles a flopping fish, desperately gasping for its final breaths on this Lonely Planet of ours. Please, exercise full body control here. There’s no time cap. Take it SLOW.

    1. Lie on the ground face down with your arms straight overhead.
    2. Tuck your pelvis under and squeeze your glutes.
    3. Keep that tuck/squeeze and lift your feet off the ground as much as you can. Enjoy that max glute contraction.
    4. Keeping the arms straight, raise them off the ground. This may be all you need and is enough on its own. If you want more extension, move on to…
    5. Raise your upper body off the ground. Keep your head long and reach away from your body to create length in the spine. Are you breathing?
    6. Lower everything back to the ground, with control.  Do this for 3 rounds, 8-10 reps per round.

    Bird Dogs

    The Bird Dog is another full body exercise. It requires a core brace, but is also using a lot of back, thigh, and arm extension. It also provides a nice challenge to your balance.

    1. Set up on your hands and knees with a flat back. Knees should be stacked directly under hips, wrists directly under shoulders. Keep reaching your head away from your body.
    2. Brace your core and raise the opposite leg and arm. Think of trying to reach the hand and heel away from each other to make as long and straight a line as possible.
    3. Lower both arm and leg back into tabletop position.

    Coaching cues: Avoid arching your low back here. Make the glutes to the work of lifting the leg.  If you have difficulty getting the arm straight overhead, just use whatever range you can. Rotating the palm inward will get you more external shoulder rotation, which will help counter the forward rounding of the shoulders.


    Yes, you can! It is possible to fix poor posture with knowledge of how your body works and with support like that offered in our MoveU Community. It takes time and consistent effort, but we’re here to support you every step of the way. Join the online MoveU membership and let’s get MUving!

    Back to Blogs



    Back pain managed

    In just a few short days on the Back & Core program I saw a meaningful difference. I felt freedom from my back pain related to muscle spasms that I haven't felt in several months.

    Nov 9


    With the revamp of the app, they are constantly working to make it the best version of itself. They take ideas and suggestions seriously.

    Oct. 6

    Knee pain is fading

    I started using MoveU because I had nagging knee pain that bothered me when running, biking, skiing, etc. It was really bumming me out so I decided to try MoveU Knee, Ankle and Foot Program. I am about to finish week 2 and my knees already feel much better!

    Nov 6

    Comprehensive and engaging

    The programs cover how to balace the whole body to minimize (or ward off any future) pain that’s caused by poor alignment. There’s an overall upbeat tone in the videos that makes you want to try your best.

    1y ago

    Better than physical therapy

    MoveU is a great program and worth the subscription. I've used it to supplement my normal weightlifting, cardio, and yoga. The monthly cost is about the same as one or two yoga classes, so it pays for itself. The app is very intuitive and well built. I'm glad to see they put in the up front work, and they are continually involved in the content. If you want to fix your issues at home, this is the best way.

    Nov 6


    To all the people that have tried every intervention. To the hopeless and helpless feeling. After all these years of disappointment with the healthcare system, there IS a solution. Dr. Mike and the Moveu Team are dedicated to get you into your healing journey. Not just the physical but also the mental - which is just as important. I love how different this program is from everything else I have ever tried. Love you guys.

    1y ago

    Excellent Program

    This is the fix for the long haul and I preach it to my family and friends. Going to a PT is great but they only work on the area your insurance allows which doesn't always fix the overall issue. Thank you Dr. Mike for creating this!

    Nov. 30

    Knowledge at your fingertips

    Well worth the subscription. I am a chiropractor and I refer to this program for all of my patients. For every diagnosis Dr. Mike and his crew demonstrate an appropriate stretch and/or exercise along with the progression and regression specific to their level of recovery. I highly recommend this app to anyone interested in treating musculoskeletal ailments whether it be your own or your patients. It's one of the few apps purchased that I feel I got my monies worth and more, you won't be dissapointed.

    1y ago

    I appreciate MoveU

    I have a bulging disc and I am very appreciative of this program and the knowledge I have gained on how body mechanics are all connected and what things to do to get better. I also feel the people really care about their members.

    Nov 13

    Most supportive and effective tool

    This app is super easy to use. Love that I always have my videos with my on the go and the support from the coaches and community is invaluable along the way. Working through 4 herniated discs and it's the first program where I'm feeling hopeful and confident!

    Feb 12

    Loads of content

    Great app! So much info to help you get to know your body and help you find your best alignment! Better alignment means less pain and more gain in life! MoveU has it all if you are willing to take responsibility for your own body.

    Nov 11

    Easy to use and interactive!

    The app is clean, concise and very user friendly. On top of that, the coaches are extremely active on the community forum, giving you quick advice on questions you may have. Great interface!

    1y ago

    It works!

    I love this program, and I'm not easily impressed. They know their stuff really well and it's designed in a great way with how it progresses. The core is especially a game changer.

    Mar 11

    Get out of pain - the ultimate solution!!

    I signed up for MoveU because I had this nagging pain for years with absolutely no way of fixing it because no one ever broke it down and showed me how to understand my problem. I love the short classes was well as the deeper live classes. I believe that I'm a lifer and it's one of the most important subscriptions I pay for in my life.

    Mar 18

    Your very best version just a MoveU away 🙌

    All in one app, to realign and reset your whole body. In the most natural, gradual, and far from the invasive way. I have been a walking injury from sports for 30+ years...I never thought I could find an integral solution.

    1y ago