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As you’re reading this article, there’s a good chance your shoulders are a bit hunched over, your lower back rounded, and your core muscles are anything but engaged.
If this sounds familiar, don’t worry. You’re not alone.
While you probably know that sitting up tall or standing with your shoulders pulled back and core engaged is how your posture should be, sometimes our body doesn’t always respond to what our mind tells us to do.
The good news? You can train yourself to adopt proper posture by adding strengthening exercises to your routine.
You can also cue yourself throughout the day with posture correctors. These devices can remind you of how you’re positioning your body.
We talked to two doctors to learn what to look for in a posture corrector. We also pooled their recommendations with countless reviews to bring you five posture correctors worthy of your consideration.
You’ve likely heard about the many benefits of having good posture. Not only does it allow you to develop strength in the areas of your body that experience the most chronic pain (aka your lower back), it also helps reduce the tightness in your neck, shoulders, and upper back.
But did you know good posture can also:
- boost your energy levels
- help you breathe better
- allow you to maintain proper form when exercising
- reduce your chance of injury when performing physical activity
- make you appear taller
Yes, practicing and maintaining good posture contributes to your overall well-being and ease of performing daily activities.
Most of us understand the importance of good posture, but there are times when we forget to cue ourselves to sit up straight or maintain a neutral spine.
To help with this, many people find relief with a posture corrector.
Typing “posture corrector” in an online search bar will return pages of options. This is good news if you know what you’re looking for. Otherwise, it can feel overwhelming.
When determining which posture corrector is right for you, here are a few things to consider.
Encourages muscle activation
There are definitely benefits to bracing with the right support. However, bracing in general is a double-edged sword.
“If you’re constantly supporting the spine in a certain position, it can make the muscles in the spine atrophy and become lazy,” says Dr. Amir Vokshoor, spinal neurosurgeon and chief of spine at St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica, California, and founder of NeuroVella Brain Spa.
With that in mind, the goal of a posture corrector should be to activate the muscles. That’s why he recommends a soft brace: It reminds the body, and our postural muscles, of the optimal place to be.
Narrowing your search to posture correctors that focus on key areas can increase a product’s effectiveness. Vokshoor says the areas of posture that are most important are the:
- cervical thoracic junction
- lower back
No matter how effective a posture corrector may be, Vokshoor says, if it’s too uncomfortable, people will struggle to wear it. And if people don’t wear it, the efficacy factor becomes irrelevant.
“I find that the most comfortable ones are also the most effective, as are the softer ones, since they tend to keep the muscles activated and prevent atrophy,” he says.
Ease of use
Vokshoor recommends posture correctors that provide support but are easily self-adjusting so people don’t have to rely on having another person around to help them put it on, take it off, and adjust the tension.
Being able to wear a posture correct under or over clothes is also a key feature when choosing the right one for you.
Area of support
Posture correctors come in a variety of styles that support your neck, lower back, or your entire upper body. Make sure you choose a product that fits your needs and targets the area you need the most support.
- $ = under $30
- $$ = $30–$100
- $$$ = over $100
- Pros: Can be worn over clothing, attractive, and comfortable
- Cons: Lack of plus sizes (max chest size is 39 inches and bra size 42 inches)
- Price: $$
If your budget is on the higher end, you may want to consider the BackEmbrace posture corrector.
Unlike so many posture correctors on the market, Vokshoor says BackEmbrace has uniquely adjusting straps that are extremely effective in retracting the shoulders.
“The double strap provides a customized fit over patients’ shoulders, so there’s no pinching or chafing under the arms,” he says. You can wear this posture corrector under or over clothing, and the fabric is soft.
- Pros: Affordable, lightweight, and unisex
- Cons: Only supports clavicle and shoulder area
- Price: $
Affordability meets high quality with the Truweo posture corrector. The Truweo offers shoulder support that helps improve slouching and keeps you standing tall even after you take it off.
Since it acts as a clavicle brace, you’ll feel support while working out, sitting, walking, or doing any other daily activities. The material is lightweight and washable. Plus, it’s unisex, can be worn over or under your clothing, and sizing is generous.
- Pros: Durable, wear under and over clothes, 30-day money back guarantee
- Cons: Velcro on the belt isn’t the best quality
- Price: $$
The Aspen posture corrector offers lumbar support and is a top pick for treating lower back issues. Vokshoor says it provides core stability that many people really need, and it’s also self-adjusting, which allows you to manage the level of compression.
It’s more durable and effective than other supports in its category. Reviewers really like that they can wear it under or over their clothes.
- Pros: Wire-free, supportive under-bust chest band, and very comfortable
- Cons: Expensive, may be bulky if trying to wear with street clothes, and may not be appropriate for high-impact activities
- Price: $$
For women, Dr. Stephen Liu, clinical assistant professor in the department of orthopedic surgery at UCLA School of Medicine, recommends the IFGfit Arya scoop neck posture bra, especially when participating in physical activity.
This posture corrector is made with eight functional panels rather than straps and other gadgets, making it comfortable and compliant for long lasting wear for all active and daily activities.
Liu says it also provides continuous body training to your muscles for posture correction, deeper breathing, and reduced neck and back tension.
- Pros: Affordable, comfortable, lightweight, and breathable
- Cons: Can take some time to set up; users report that shoulder straps can be uncomfortable
- Price: $
If you’re looking for a posture corrector that has a low price point and comes with a money back guarantee, consider the Marakym posture corrector for both men and women.
You can wear this clavicle brace over your shirt or underneath your clothing. It’s made from neoprene, so it’s both comfortable and breathable. Plus, it’s fully adjustable for 28- to 48-inch chest circumferences.
In addition to wearing a posture corrector while at work, traveling, or doing other daily activities, you can perform exercises to strengthen the muscles that support your posture.
Maintaining proper posture throughout the day is key to preventing injuries, reducing neck and back strain, and reducing headaches.
Wearing a posture corrector a few hours a day and including posture-specific exercises in your workouts can help you train and strengthen the muscles that support your spine.
Maintaining better posture can improve your overall well-being.