6 exercises to improve posture

‘Stand up straight’, ‘Stop slouching!’, alright mum, calm down! Yes, it’s annoying, but to be fair, none of us really want to walk around looking like Quasimodo. So, stand tall Esmeralda and let’s crack on! As humans we sit more than ever and of course many of us have it built in with our work lives but fear not. There is a way to exercise and build lean muscle to strengthen those shoulders and keep them pinned back. Lean back anyone?

The posterior deltoids, rhomboids, lower trapezius and shoulder external rotators are where we’re going to focus our attention. These muscles are basically the back of your shoulders/mid to upper back if the conversation comes by the office coffee machine. We don’t see them, so obviously we care less about getting them toned for summer, but these bad boys are what pin back the shoulders helping our backs look strong, straight and toned and will then as a by-product expand the chest. Win win! Think best supporting actor for the upper body.

Their main uses, alongside giving us world class gymnastic level posture is to provide stability around the shoulder joint and shoulder girdle and will support in all pulling exercises such as rows and lat pull downs.

We’ve picked out 5 gym-based exercises worth incorporating into your routine and 1 at home drill so that you can be the talk of the office with the best back in the company!

In the gym…

  1. Cable Seated Row – Focus on pulling the shoulder blades together before you pull with the arms.

Lat Pull Down – Focus on pull the shoulder blades down away from your ears and together before pulling with the arms.

Lower Trap Raise – Pull the shoulder blades together and then (leading with the thumb up) lift your arm towards 10 o’clock or 2 o’clock (depending on side). Pause at the top and return in the same direction. This exercise is more of a “feel” exercise and so don’t go too heavy to early.

Chest Supported Reverse Fly – Position your torso parrel to the ground and then with your hands in neutral (facing each other) and elbows slightly bent but stiff execute a wide arc. Try not to swing too fast on the way up so that you can feel the muscles in the upper back and back of shoulder do the work.

Quadruped shoulder external rotation – A great exercise for developing end range strength in your rotator cuff. Support the upper arm on a barbell making sure you do not hang off the bar. Keeping the wrist straight, rotator from the shoulder towards the ceiling maing sure you pause the top position. Again this is a feel exercise so make sure you don’t go too heavy too soon.

At home…

Y’s, T’s & W’s – hinge forwards with a straight back and soft knee (as if you were performing a bent over row). The perform 5 reps of Y’s (thumbs to ceiling), 5 reps of T’s (thumbs facing each other) and finally 5 reps of W’s (thumbs to ceiling).

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