For months, I’ve tried to find an easy fix for my curved posture. Years of sitting at a desk have made my shoulders hunch forward, and unfortunately, it’s caused other problems as well — from neck and back strain to chronic lower back pain. I finally decided I should learn how to improve my posture, and recently came across a hack that looked promising: the towel trick.
After seeing a brief video explaining the towel trick, I immediately wanted to try it. It requires lying down on your back and placing a rolled-up towel under your neck. Resting in this position for 10 to 20 minutes a day should help reverse the effects of a constant slouch and improve your posture — plus, it’s unbelievably easy.
Testing Out the Towel Trick to Improve My Posture
I’ve been practicing the towel neck stretch for about two weeks now, and often do it while I read. In addition, I practice other stretches and variations, such as resting with my legs up against the wall to release low-back and hip tension. While these stretches combined with the towel trick feel incredible and relaxing, I can’t say that they have dramatically improved my posture.
It’s why searched for a more in-depth video demonstration to be sure that I was doing it correctly. I realized that I haven’t been completely diligent about my practice of the trick, and could improve my methods.
In the video, Dr. Michael Bryant recommends that you perform this stretch on a yoga mat on the floor — whereas I had been doing it on my bed. He also recommends that your arms rest out on the floor with palms up toward the ceiling (so, you can’t really be reading while you do it — try listening to a podcast, music, or the news instead). Plus, you should perform the stretch uninterrupted for at least 10 minutes, rather than switching your position to try different stretches.
After testing the towel neck stretch with proper form, I noticed that it’s more difficult than I expected. It feels great at first, but can eventually become uncomfortable. Listening to music and a podcast helped pass the time, at least.
Dr. Bryant states that if this stretch gets too uncomfortable, you should stop and make a note of how long you were able to perform it. Over time and with consistency, it should get easier and more relaxing. Just be sure to speak with your doctor before trying it out.
I have faith that Dr. Bryant is right in his prediction. After just three days of performing the stretch the right way, I found that it got a little easier. In fact, I enjoyed the whole experience from start to finish on day four. I’ll continue practicing this pose in the hopes that my posture will improve. (And to relieve my back pain, I’ll add this five-minute wall exercise to my regimen.)