Exercises to Improve Posture for Special Needs

Good posture is something we usually take for granted in our everyday life. We stretch when we get up in bed. We stand up and do our usual chores. We sit down to watch TV or simply relax. Having a good posture is important for everyone. For people with special needs, having a good posture can actually save their lives.


Why good posture is very important

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For people with special needs, especially those with physical disabilities, poor posture seems to be the norm. Some people suffer from spine distortions due to physical conditions. Others have been used to sitting down or lying down in bed most of the time resulting not only to bad posture in general, but also chronic pain due to the shortening of unused muscles.

But that’s not all.

Poor posture can be life threatening, too.

The knock-on effects of bad posture differ from individual to individual. Some people with bad posture can suffer from difficulty breathing. Others can have a hard time swallowing. There’s also the risk of chest infections. Worse, severe distortions in the spine due to bad posture left untreated can prove fatal and deadly.


There’s still hope

But here’s the good news:

Bad posture can be corrected.

Good posture care starts well into childhood. It involves a gentle intervention to prevent distortion in the spine that can be fatal when left untreated.

But not all posture care is the same. Each person has a unique set of needs and it is important that you first identify that before you go and start an exercise routine to correct your posture.

It’s a common myth that only people who already manifest bad posture should go and do something about it.

Adults and children alike may be walking, but if they do not do it right, it might affect their posture in the long run and cause other adverse effects to their health. Therefore a lack of activity or showing signs of having poor posture are good enough reasons to pursue immediate intervention and postural care. On the other hand, you might want to avoid posture problems in the future, hence the need for posture exercises.


Posture Exercise for Special Needs

When it comes to postural care, every individual will differ from another. Some people can do with just a stretch. Others people to swim. There are those who need to consider exercises that are only fit for those in a wheelchair. But overall, having a good posture can have a positive impact in your life.

Research studies have shown that good posture provides the following benefits:

  • Back relief
  • Better breathing
  • Reduces pain
  • Improves mood
  • Helps with digestion
  • Optimum energy
  • Improved concentration
  • Better body function even as you age


Obviously, having a good posture is necessary for you to enjoy a good life.

On the other hand, distortions in proper posture can not only lead to pain and discomfort, but also difficulties and problems with regards to:

  • balance and stability
  • sleeping and feeding
  • systemic functions like breathing and bowel movements

to name a few.

To help with that, we compiled a list of exercises you can do to improve your posture.


Here we go:


Cat to Camel Exercise

Target: upper and lower back

Cat to Camel

To do this:

  1. Start on both knees and hands in a table top position.
  2. Rotate your hips backward. At the same time arch your back towards the ceiling.
  3. Reverse your movement and go back to your original position


Knee Plank Exercise

Target: back, core and hips

Knee Planks

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  1. Start with your knees and hands/forearms on the ground in a 90 degree angle.
  2. Hold the position for at least 30 seconds.
  3. Rest then repeat.


Superman Exercise

Target: upper and lower back, core and glutes


  1. Lying face down on your stomach, extend your arms and legs.
  2. Keeping your core flat on the ground, raise both your arms and feet off the floor.
  3. Hold the position for at least three seconds, squeeze your glutes, then go back to the original position.
  4. Repeat for at least 10 reps.


Hip Bridge Exercise

Target: lower back, glutes and core

Hip Bridge

  1. Lie face up on your back.
  2. Bend your knees and put your feet in a distance similar to the width of your hip.
  3. Lift your hips while squeezing your glutes by pushing through your heels from the ground.
  4. Hold the position for at least three seconds then come down.
  5. Repeat for at least 10 reps.


Dead Bug Exercise

Target: lower back, core and shoulders

Dead Bug

  1. Lie face up on your back.
  2. Bend your knees and lift your legs into the air at a 90-degree angle.
  3. Shoot your arms straight into the air with your wrist above your shoulders.
  4. Lower your opposite arm and leg towards the floor without actually touching the ground.
  5. Hold the position for three seconds and repeat the action on your opposite leg and arm.


Wall Squat Exercise

Target: core and legs

Wall Squats

  1. Stand with your back flat against a wall.
  2. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  3. Moving your feet about two to three feet away from the wall, slowly slide your back down and bend your knees at a 90-degree angle.
  4. Hold the position for at least 10 seconds then repeat.


Single Leg Hip Bridge Exercise

Target: lower back, glutes and core

Single Leg Hip Bridge

  1. Lie face up on your back.
  2. Bend your knees and put your feet at a distance that is hip-width. Make sure your heels are just a few inches away from your butt.
  3. Raise your leg into the air and lift your hips by pushing through your heels.
  4. Hold the position for at least three seconds then come down.
  5. Repeat for at least 10 reps.


Lower Back Cobra Stretch Exercise

Target: lower back

Lower Back Cobra Stretch

  1. On your stomach, stretch your legs straight back with about a hip-width distance.
  2. Lift up your chest by getting into a push up position, but with your hands under the shoulders.
  3. Hold the position for at least 20 seconds.
  4. Repeat the exercise for at least three times. Rest if you must.


Seated Lower Back Rotation Stretch Exercise

Target: lower back

Seated Lower Back Rotation Stretch

  1. Sit on the floor with both your legs extended in front of you.
  2. Twist your hips to the right and place your left hand on your right knee to support the stretch.
  3. Do the same routine on the opposite side.
  4. Repeat on both sides for at least 8 reps.


At first, you might find some of these exercises a little difficult – and even painful – if you already have a problematic posture.

However, these exercises get easier over time the more you do them. You’ll also notice a difference to your posture when you continually do these posture correcting exercises on a regular basis.

If you’re unsure how to start and you want to do these exercises correctly, you may want to try Special Strong and sign up for the 7-Day Pass for FREE!

Not only will you get access to Special Strong for free for a week, you’ll also have access to expert fitness trainers whose goals are to help you overcome the many challenges of a healthier and happier lifestyle through adaptive fitness training.

Want more from Special Strong? Try these five in-home exercises for low muscle tone or check out these wheelchair exercises.









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