Let's Get This Straight...

“Stop slouching!” We’ve all heard it before, whether from our moms, our ballet teachers or both. And it’s pretty solid advice: Good posture protects your back by decreasing stress on the joints, muscles and ligaments that support your spine. Plus, it helps you look and feel more confident and energized.

But like all good things, picture-perfect posture doesn’t happen overnight—it takes a bit of effort. DS turned to Rachel Piskin, co-founder of ChaiseFitness, for four exercises that will have you standing taller in no time.

You'll need: a Thera-Band

(Photo by Erin Baiano)

Ribcage Wrap

1. Stand in a shallow first position. Wrap the Thera-Band around the back

of your rib cage and cross it in front of your body. Holding one end of the band in each hand, extend your arms straight out in front of you at shoulder height, with your palms flat and facing down.

2 Open your arms to the side, keeping them at shoulder height. Piskin says: “As you open your arms, imagine your chest expanding without allowing your rib cage to pop forward.”

3. Slowly return your arms to the starting position, with control. Repeat 8–10 times.

(Photo by Erin Baiano)

Bow and Arrow Stretch

1. Fold your Thera-Band in half lengthwise, holding one end in each hand. Standing

in a shallow first position, extend your left arm straight out to the side with the palm facing down. Bring your right fist into the center of your rib cage with your right elbow pointing straight out to the side, like you’re preparing to shoot a bow and arrow.

2. Pull the right end of the Thera-Band across your chest so that it reaches your right armpit, turning your head toward your left arm at the same time. Piskin says: “Don’t lift your shoulders. Keep them pressed down as you pull the band across your body.”

3. Return to the starting position, with control. Repeat 8–10 times on each side.

(Photo by Erin Baiano)

Plié and Relevé

1. Fold your Thera-Band in half lengthwise, holding one end in each hand. Standing in a shallow first position, bring your arms overhead, holding them shoulders-width apart with your palms facing forward. Feel your spine extend both up and down as you demi-plié.

2. Push through the floor to straighten your legs and lift into a relevé, keeping your arms stretched overhead. Repeat 20 times. Piskin says: “Don’t allow the band to slacken. Create tension by pulling it slightly outward throughout this exercise.”

(Photo by Erin Baiano)

Arabesque Lift

1. Fold your Thera-Band in half lengthwise, holding one end in each hand. Extend your right leg behind you in a shallow lunge, with your feet slightly turned out and your left leg slightly bent. Extend your arms straight out in front of you at shoulder height, with your palms facing down.

2. Pushing off the floor, straighten your left leg and extend your right leg in a low arabesque, while lifting your arms overhead.

3. Lower your arms and legs to the starting position. Repeat 8–10 times on each leg. Piskin says: “Really engage your core as you push off the floor, so that you don’t lose your alignment in the transition.”

Click here to watch Rachel walk through these exercises.






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