Is Posture Transformation Really Possible?

January 19, 2023 in Posture

Paul Schell


What is a posture transformation? Simply put, it is the process of changing and improving your posture through the specific use of techniques and posture correction exercises. An increasing number of people today recognize the adverse effects of poor posture on health. Indeed, more people are learning that certain postures, such as anterior pelvic tilt, kyphosis, forward head posture, and slouching can be the cause behind many issues like back pain, headaches, and even depression.

Good posture, on the other hand, is shown to be effective in helping you look and feel better, increasing confidence, and boosting energy levels. Indeed, the benefits of good posture are numerous. And what’s the key to better posture? Good underlying musculoskeletal function, which is why posture exercises that align and then strengthen the body are critical for true, lasting posture transformation.

In this article, we'll dive into the world of posture transformation, discussing good and bad postures, the causes of poor posture, and the techniques and exercises you can use to improve your posture. Whether you're struggling with chronic pain or aches from years of poor posture, or you're simply looking to improve your posture to feel and look better, you'll be better equipped with the knowledge and tools you need to start your posture transformation journey.

Is It Possible to Correct Years of Bad Posture?

Is it possible to correct years of bad posture? The short answer is yes! No matter your age, it’s definitely possible to improve your posture, even if you've had poor posture for many years. It's important to understand, however, that correcting years of bad posture is a process that can take time and effort. At the same time, with the right approach and guidance, you are likely see significant changes quickly (as many of our clients do). Over time, with continued application of the proper exercises, you will achieve even more significant improvements in your posture.

Activ8 Posture tranformation

The first step in correcting bad posture is identifying and understanding the root cause. This can be associated with lifestyle activities like sitting at a desk all day, carrying a heavy backpack, or having weak core muscles from not moving enough. But, more specifically, we’ll find where the root causes of your posture imbalances are by doing a full-body screen and functional movement tests. This helps you to find where your posture dysfunctions are coming from and where we can apply targeted focus to get results faster than a generalized approach. Once you understand the cause, you can take the necessary steps to address it.

One of the most effective ways to correct bad posture is posture therapy. At Activ8 Posture, for example, a posture therapist can provide you with exercises and techniques that are tailored to your body’s specific needs. They can also help you to identify and correct any issues you may have, such as chronic pain, limited mobility, or recurring injuries. If, for example, your poor posture is caused by an imbalance in your deep hip flexors (or psoas muscles), a posture therapist can provide you with exercises that focus on re-engaging, strengthening, and integrating the hip muscles to support your back.

Can I Really Change My Posture?

In addition to posture therapy, there are also other techniques that can help to improve your posture, such as chiropractic, yoga poses, and even posture correctors. With these options, only yoga poses (or a posture therapy program like Activ8 Posture) would work from the inside out to achieve good posture. This means your body doing the work and maintaining the changes naturally versus coming from external sources.

Activ8 Posture transformation 2 week change

It's important to remember that correcting years of bad posture is not a one-time event but will be a realization of applying the corrective exercises over time. Be consistent with your practice, and you’ll be surprised at how much your body will change. With the right approach and a commitment to making a few lifestyle changes, you will improve your posture, reduce pain and discomfort, and feel better overall.

In summary, correcting years of bad posture is absolutely possible, no matter your age, with a little time and consistent application. With the right focus and the help of a posture therapist, you will achieve a significant improvement in your posture and improve your overall health.

Take the first step towards your posture transformation today! Schedule a discovery call with a trained, experienced Posture Therapist.

Why Do People Have Bad Posture?

When mentioning the word posture, most people immediately adjust themselves to sit taller. Maybe that’s memories of Mom or Dad giving stern reminders, or maybe there’s some intuitive knowing inside each of us regarding the value of good posture. And, while the labels of “good” and “bad” might not be the most PC way of saying it, people get it. (Problematic posture is another way to describe poor posture as well.)

At any rate, it's important to understand the different types and what causes poor posture. The number of posture combinations we see in our clinics would take way too long to list out. Instead, here are six common posture types:

Neutral Posture (also Ideal Posture)

Activ8 posture ideal posture front view
Activ8 Posture ideal posture side view

Also considered the perfect posture by some, images of DaVinci’s Vitruvian Man or many of the Renaissance-era works of art come to mind. This ideal posture is the standard to which we strive to get closer in our posture transformations. The goal for most people is not really to look “perfect” but to overcome the problematic postures and move closer to this ideal. Indeed, it is the goal of those who understand what better posture represents. And that is becoming pain-free, feeling better energy, lighter on their feet, more steady with better balance, and able to do many of the things they’d once given up.

Kyphotic, or Hunchback, Posture

Activ8 Posture kyphosis with head forward posture

Features: Characterized by a rounded upper back and shoulders, this poor posture becomes a combo package with a forward head posture. This posture pattern is also referred to as an upper cross syndrome.

Causes: More often than not, this is seen with heavy-duty sitters. Yes, desk jockeys spend the majority of their hours in thoracic kyphosis (rounding) of their upper back with their neck forward and head forward, craning to see a screen, book, or device in front of them. This used to be associated with older individuals who sat more, but this is more prevalent in our society across most age groups.

Complaints: Many with this posture experience head, neck, and shoulder problems. This may include headaches, neck pain, neck injuries, disc degeneration in the cervical spine, shoulder pain, and shoulder injuries. With this position also comes a lot of neck tension, tightness, and immobility trying to look side-to-side or over the shoulder when driving. Immobility in the shoulders is common as well since the thoracic spine is so rigid. This affects golfers, for example, who might think they need more reps in the gym to build muscle, but it’s really that they’re fighting the thoracic immobility in their spine.

Trunk Rotation and Pelvic Rotation Posture

Features: This poor posture is characterized by one side of the trunk and pelvis rotating forward (not necessarily the same side for both). Many times, one foot will be in front of the other when standing naturally.

Causes: Most often, this is related to the one-sided dominance of an arm or a leg. An injury on one side of the body is the shortest route to this asymmetry. Sports that create unilateral patterns in the body include tennis, golf, pickleball, and baseball. The one-sided dominance can stem from patterns created going back to childhood, such as sitting with one leg crossed over most of the time or one leg always tucked under your bottom.

Complaints: While most often we think that the injured side is the problem, people don’t always make the jump to why the other side is now hurting. This can occur through compensations that occur if good posture and proper function were not fully restored post-injury. So, rehab with a physical therapist, for example, may have been “successful” for the injury but may not have included whole-body integration (looking at your whole body versus just the region) or likely did not include making changes to your lifestyle demands.

Lateral Offset Posture

Features: Similar to the trunk and pelvic rotation postures, lateral offsets are characterized by the poor posture that shows a lack of symmetry. Instead of using rotation to compensate for balance, however, the body shifts to the right or left side. If you look at someone from the front view, it’s usually obvious because their shoulders and trunk are not centered over their pelvis, legs, and feet.

Causes: Again, injuries to one side are common here. Scoliosis, while a combination of rotation and lateral offset, will show the offset more predominantly if someone hasn’t done any posture therapy. Sometimes, pain is a cause of lateral offset posture; lumbar disc herniations can create posture compensations.

Complaints: As mentioned, lumbar disc herniations are common with this poor posture due to the imbalance in the back muscles. Hip arthritis and arthritic knees are common, along with hip bursitis, IT band issues, and balance issues.

Activ8 Posture Lordosis with anterior pelvic tilt posture

Features: Characterized by an excessive arch in the lower back and a bottom that sticks out, this posture is also referred to as a lower cross syndrome. Tight hip flexors (not necessarily strong) are normally a big part of this, along with weak glutes and weak abs.

Causes: Sitting too much and not enough activity. This posture used to be more associated with active, strong athlete types who developed strong hip flexors, but not anymore. There is a newer population of weak and tight hip flexor postures that are more sedentary than their elders.

Complaints: Common injuries include hip, knee, and foot strains and sprains, pulled groin muscles, back spasms, and constipation. Over time, herniated discs or degenerative disc disease in the lumbar spine, degenerative hips, and degenerative knees are likely due to compression in the joints.

Posterior Pelvic Tilt with Flat Back Posture

Activ8 Posture posterior pelvic tilt with flatback posture

Features: Opposite the lordosis with anterior pelvic tilt, the posterior pelvic tilt with flat back posture is characterized by the tucking under the hips. If anterior pelvic tilt makes it look like someone has a full bottom, posterior tilt makes the butt look flat. And since the low back is flat, the line from back to the bottom is often a straight vertical line.

Causes: Often seen with sedentary lifestyles, the hip flexors in this posture are weak but not necessarily tight. And if someone with this posture is active, it’s usually some slow-moving activity like walking or slow-running due to the inability to move their pelvis and low back into positions for power and explosion.

Complaints: Low back pain, degenerative disc disease (not just lumbar), upper back pain, instability, weakness, poor breathing, low energy, and low confidence.

Can I Really Change My Posture?

As you can see from the above examples, poor posture can (and does) show up in a number of ways. The causes can vary from one person to the next, depending on the root causes. For some, it’s sitting for long periods of time in front of a computer every day that leads to their kyphotic posture. For another, their anterior pelvic tilt and lordosis posture is related to athletic endeavors that made their once-strong-now-weak hip flexors tight. Or, the trunk and pelvic rotation are happening due to an old injury that has been creating imbalance and compensations up and down the body. backpack on one shoulder can lead to a rotated or offset posture.

Identifying poor posture is done by looking for certain anatomical landmarks. If you notice that your shoulders are rounded and your head juts forward, for example, you likely have a kyphotic posture. Or, if you notice that your lower back is excessively arched, you likely have a lordotic posture with anterior pelvic tilt.

Most people, unfortunately, feel the pain signals before they notice the poor posture; symptoms such as back pain, headaches, and neck pain. In addition, most people don’t know that their bad posture can directly relate to other symptoms such as fatigue, constipation, or poor circulation.

So, understanding a few common types of posture, along with the causes and common complaints, is the first step toward your posture transformation. With this knowledge, you'll be able to identify some of your posture issues and then start taking steps to improve them.

What are Some Techniques to Correct Posture?

All posture correction techniques are not created equal. As mentioned above, some work from the outside in to fix you, while others (like Activ8 Posture therapy) work with you to make changes from the inside out. Sure, you may get some results from different approaches, but it will really depend on what else you’re doing and in what combination.

  • Stretching (e.g., yoga)
  • Strengthening (e.g., personal training)
  • Posture therapy (like Activ8 Posture)
  • Massage therapy
  • Chiropractic
  • Ergonomics (e.g., chair, workstation setup)
  • Wearables (e.g., posture braces, clothing)


Stretching exercises can help to loosen up tight muscles and improve flexibility, which can help to improve your posture. Some good stretching exercises may include chest stretches, shoulder stretches, and back stretches. There is mixed research on whether stretching, in and by itself, is helpful. At Activ8 Posture, we believe you need to activate the muscles of your body and not just stretch them. (Hence the name. 😉


Strengthening exercises can be beneficial in many ways as well. Much research shows that the strength and endurance of back muscles, for example, is a key factor in back pain relief. Strengthening without proper alignment or function, however, can add fuel to the fire by strengthening areas of compensation. The key is getting to the right muscles that need strength and NOT working the already strong ones that want to do all of the work.

Posture Therapy

Posture therapy programs like Activ8 Posture look at the body in a holistic, whole-body paradigm. By incorporating stretching and stretching exercises along with posture alignment poses, the goal is not only good posture but great underlying musculoskeletal function. Function brings in the daily activities, hobbies, sports, and physical tasks you want to enjoy. By working with a posture therapist as your guide, you get individualized attention and coaching to keep moving forward and making progress.

Massage Therapy & Chiropractic

Massage and chiropractic are popular ways to help with pain relief and take tension out of the body. The “missing link” is often in the lack of guidance for you to make lifestyle adjustments and specific exercises for you to do on your own. Some provide corrective exercises, but these tend to be generic hamstring stretches, bridges, dead bugs, etc.


Ergonomics can help comfortably situate you at your desk or workstation. And if you’re going to be stuck in one position for hours, it makes sense. One important thing to remember with ergonomics, however, is that they contour to your poor posture. That’s right, ergonomics tries to make the best of what you’ve got, but you don’t necessarily fix your poor posture — just become more comfortable. Fixing the body going into the chair or workstation is really the best approach.


Wearables can be everything from fun and fashionable to annoying and embarrassing. This category includes technology that will let you know if you’re not sitting or standing vertically. It also includes braces and clothing designed to keep you in good posture while you wear it. While popular, many of these devices lose their luster after a short duration and again, don’t necessarily correct the root cause of posture dysfunction.

Posture Transformation Exercises

Now that you have a better understanding of posture and the causes of poor posture, it's time to start working on your posture transformation. While there are many types of exercise available, the quickest road to improve your posture is knowing where to begin.

By understanding the root cause behind the problematic, poor posture examples above, it’s easier to fast-track your journey to overcome pain, transform your posture, and gain the benefits of good posture.

Here are some beginner posture exercises you can do for the above:

Exercises for kyphosis, or hunchback posture

1. Airbench pullovers

airbench pullovers 1 Activ8 Posture
airbench pullovers 2 Activ8 Posture
  • Sit against wall with your knees bent approximately 90-degrees with your low back pressed flat.
  • Make a fist with your hands and extend your elbows fully.
  • Raise and lower your arms while keeping your elbows straight and back flat.
  • 2 sets of 10 reps

2. Counter stretch

counter stretch 1 Activ8 Posture
counter stretch 2 Activ8 Posture
  • Sit facing a wall with your hands chest height and walk your feet back under your hips.
  • Keeping your arms straight, hinge from your hips and flatten your back while extending your knees.
  • Relax your stomach and breath diaphragmatically.
  • Keep your feet pointing straight ahead and parallel.
  • Hold for 30- to 60-seconds

Exercises for trunk rotation and pelvic rotation posture

1. Static extension position

static extension position Activ8 Posture
  • Start on all fours (hands and knees) and walk your hands 5-6 inches forward.
  • Keeping your arms straight, hinge in your hips while allowing your back to extend.
  • Keep your shoulders vertical of your wrists, allow your shoulder blades to collapse together and your head to drop down.
  • Relax your stomach and breath diaphragmatically.
  • Hold for 60- to 90-seconds

2. Sitting chair twist

sitting chair twist Activ8 Posture
  • Sit on the front half of a chair or bench and roll your hips forward to extend your low back.
  • Keeping your weight even between both hips and low back extended, reach one arm behind you on the back of the seat or over the back of the chair.
  • Cross your other hand over the opposite knee and look over your shoulder.
  • Keep your spine vertical and use the arm and shoulder behind you to gently pull your trunk into rotation.
  • Hold for 30- to 60-seconds, then repeat on the other side

Exercises for lateral offset posture

1. Unilateral chest openers

unilateral chest openers 1 Activ8 Posture
unilateral chest openers 2 Activ8 Posture
  • Stand perpendicular to a wall at arms length.
  • Place the hand closest to the wall at shoulder height on the wall with fingers spread open.
  • Keeping your feet pointing straight ahead and body at 90-degrees to the wall, rotate your arm (keeping the hand planted on the wall) forward from the shoulder joint.
  • When you reach a comfortable end range of motion, reverse the rotation in the arm backwards from the shoulder to a comfortable end range.
  • 2 sets of 20 repetitions, rotating sets on each arm

2. Abductor presses in a doorway

abductor presses in doorway Activ8 Posture
  • Stand in a door frame with the outside of your foot and outer hip snug to the wall.
  • With one arm behind the wall, keep your body squared perpendicular to the wall.
  • Keeping your lateral hip against the wall, press the outside of the same foot into the wall and then release.
  • Keeping your feet pointing straight ahead and body at 90-degrees to the wall.
  • 2 sets of 20 repetitions, rotating sets on each leg

Exercises for lordosis with anterior pelvic tilt posture

1. Airbench

airbench Activ8 Posture
  • Sit against wall with your knees bent approximately 90-degrees with your low back pressed flat.
  • Dig your weight into your heels with your feet straight.
  • Relax your upper body.
  • Hold for 1- to 2-minutes

2. Frog

frog position Activ8 Posture
  • Lie on your back with your feet pulled under your knees.
  • Bring your feet together and allow your knees to lower to the sides slowly.
  • Relax your body and breath diaphragmatically.
  • Hold for 1- to 2-minutes

3. Pelvic tilts

pelvic tilt posterior Activ8 Posture
pelvic tilts anterior Activ8 Posture
  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
  • Keeping your upper body relaxed, slowly roll your pelvis under so that your back flats. Breath out as you flatten your low back.
  • After you exhale your breath and flatten, slowly roll your hips towards your feet so that an arch is created in your low back. Breath in as your back arches.
  • Reverse directions again. Each back and forth motion is one repetition.
  • 2 sets of 10 repetitions

Exercises for posterior pelvic tilt with flat back posture

1. Sitting scapular contractions

sitting in extension Activ8 Posture
sitting scapular contraction Activ8 Posture
  • Sit on the front half of a chair or bench and roll your hips forward to extend your low back.
  • Keeping your weight even between both hips and low back extended, squeeze your shoulder blades together behind your chest.
  • Keep your shoulder blades down and back as you squeeze and not up into your traps or neck.
  • Keep your spine vertical as you squeeze your shoulder blades together and then release.
  • 2 sets of 20 repetitions

2. Sitting cross-crawling

sitting cross crawling 1 Activ8 Posture
sitting cross crawling 2 Activ8 Posture
  • Sit on the front half of a chair or bench and roll your hips forward to extend your low back.
  • Keeping your weight even between both hips and low back extended, lift one leg from the hip while raising the opposite arm towards the ceiling.
  • Lower the raised arm and leg while simultaneously lifting the opposite leg and arm.
  • Try to initiate the motion at your hip at the same time as your arm versus your arm leading the way. Also, be sure you're using the opposite arm and leg and not the same side as you do this.
  • 2 sets of 20 repetitions

How Often Should I Stretch?

It's important to remember that a posture transformation is not a one-time event (or shouldn’t be). Instead, it's a journey, so if you want the changes to last and reap the benefits, it’s important to continue doing them. If you’re consistent with your exercises, check in with your posture coach for adjustments, then you’ll see improvements not only last but continue over time. Always remember to listen to your body and not to push yourself too hard by starting with easy a few easy exercises and gradually working your way up.

It's also important to consult a healthcare professional before starting any new exercise routine, especially if you have any pre-existing health conditions. This way, you ensure you’re getting the best advice for your situation.


In wrapping up, you can make your own posture transformation no matter your age or activity level. Posture therapy is a proven process that can help you to overcome pain, look and feel better, increase your confidence, and boost your energy levels.

While there are common types of posture we discussed above, the causes of poor posture vary by individuals. The best posture transformation techniques and maintaining good posture over time will depend on your unique situation. Remember that posture transformation is a journey, and while some changes may occur quickly, it is the lifestyle changes that occur over time that will be long-lasting. The sooner you can get started on that journey the better.

And, if you're looking to speed up the process with individualized guidance, posture therapy is a great resource. A trained therapist can guide you through the process of posture transformation by helping you identify and correct the root cause of issues you may have. They can also provide you with exercises and techniques that are tailored to your specific needs or current limitations. Remember that consulting a healthcare professional before starting any new exercise routine is always a good idea, especially if you have any pre-existing health conditions.

Overall, posture transformation is a highly achievable goal with the right help, but it requires a commitment to making lifestyle changes. With the right coaching and approach, you can improve your posture, reduce pain and discomfort, and feel great overall!

Take the first step towards your posture transformation today! Schedule a discovery call with a trained, experienced Posture Therapist.

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