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squat
Photograph: Shutterstock

Ask the expert: workout for posture and general wellbeing

Get that body moving!

By Sam Evans
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Follow this quick workout routine to promote better posture and general wellbeing, as instructed by personal trainer Jon Lee of One Personal Training during Time Out Hong Kong's Ask the expert series. Each exercise and its benefits are outlined below.

Photograph: Courtesy One Personal Training

For improving posture:

Neck circles
Neck circles
Neck Circles

Neck Circles (60 seconds)

Promotes head and neck flexibility, and is a great warm-up

a. Use your chin to draw a full circle, clockwise, and then anti-clockwise. 
b.
 Go slowly and smoothly, and repeat around six times until you hit 60 seconds.

pelvic tilt
pelvic tilt
Active pelvic tilt

Active pelvic tilt (60 seconds)

Promotes good alignment of your lumbar spine

a. Choose a kneeling or standing position.
b.
 Inhale and curl your tailbone towards the belly and slowly tuck your pelvis forward, so glutes are tensed. 
c. Exhale and untuck tailbone, untuck the pelvis to exaggerate the arch in your back.
d. Inhale and return to the pelvis tuck position.
e. Repeat until you hit 60 seconds. 

 

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wall slides
wall slides
Wall slides

Wall slides (60 seconds)

Promotes flexibility and shoulder mobility

a. Assume a seated position, with back leaning flat against a wall. 
b.
 Press the back of your arms into the wall with your elbows at 90 degrees.
c. Maintain contact with the wall as you slide arms upward overhead while squeezing your shoulder blades together. 
d. Pause and then slide your arms back down the wall until elbows are back at a 90-degree angle.
e. Repeat until you hit 60 seconds. 

cat cow
cat cow
Thoracic spine cat/cow 

Thoracic spine cat/cow (60 seconds) 

This releases tension from the upper back and neck

a. Start on hands and knees, aligning wrists underneath your shoulders and knees underneath your hips. 
b.
 Inhale and arch your spine for cow pose, tilting your pelvis back so that your tailbone sticks up. Your belly should drop down as you gaze upward.
c. Exhale, while keeping the rest of your body still, and round your back, tucking the tailbone and letting the spine naturally round upwards, gazing down towards your navel.
d. Repeat the movement slowly until you hit 60 seconds. 

To complete a posture-promoting 10-minute workout, repeat the above steps. 

Switch to the following exercises for improving wellbeing. 

For general wellbeing:

squats
squats
Bodyweight squat

Bodyweight squat (90 seconds) 

Strengthens the lower body and glutes

a. Stand with your feet a little more than shoulder-width apart, knees pointing slightly outward. Stretch arms out in front for balance.
b. 
Slowly squat down until thighs are parallel to the floor.
c. Hold for a couple of seconds and then slowly return to original position.

push ups
push ups
Push-ups

Push-ups (60 seconds)

Improves arms and upper body strength

a. Arms shoulder-width apart.
b.
 Go down slowly over three seconds.
c.
 Slowly push back up and repeat.

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hollow holds workout
hollow holds workout
Hollow holds

Hollow holds (30 seconds)

Strengthens the core

a. Lie on your back with your legs in the air, knees at 90 degrees.
b.
 Raise arms at your side like reaching for your ankles.
c. Raise head into a crunch position, and tense your stomach as much as you can and hold the position for 30 seconds.

Rest for 30 seconds and repeat 5, 6, and 7.

For more Ask the expert episodes, watch the recorded live-streamed video with La Rambla's Executive Chef Ferran Tadeo cooking up a delicious recipe of sweet peas and razor clams. 

More from our Ask the expert series

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