1 Exercise I am Prescribing a Lot For Better Posture and Upper Back Strength

1 Exercise I am Prescribing a Lot For Better Posture and Upper Back Strength

The top 3 parts of my clients bodies that I spend the most time training are: upper back, core stability, and glute strength. Why? Due to poor posture, too much sitting, and not enough functional movement the body becomes quite weak in these areas.  A strong, efficient, well rounded recreational ‘athlete’ will be strong in all of these key areas.  Also, being strong in the glutes, lats, and core means less likelihood for injury!

In this blog I wrote a lot about good butt exercises:

https://unleashyouroptimalhealth.wordpress.com/2015/06/08/my-top-5-exercises-for-a-strong-functional-good-looking-butt/

And I’ve also blogged a lot about core stability. You could scroll through the articles in my blog, and stay tuned for more about this topic!

Today I wanted to share with you 1 of my favourite upper back exercises that I am finding very efficient in training upper back strength and posture!

Straight Arm Band Pulldown:

straight arm pulldown

This is a fantastic exercise that primarily works the lats (large muscles down the sides of your back) but other muscles involved include the pectoralis major and minor, triceps, teres major, posterior deltoid, rhomboids, and levator scapulae. As well as the pecs, rectus abdominis, obliques, and wrist flexors have to work hard to maintain good posture and core stability in this move. ALL FANTASTIC MUSCLES TO WORK FOR POSTURE!

Here’s how to do it:

  • Stand with your knees bent, tall posture.   I want you to be sure of the following posture cues. Your butt isn’t “tucked” AKA if you were to putt your back up against a wall your tail bone and rib cage would be touching, but not your lower back.
  • Then draw your collarbones open and broad, and pull your shoulder blades back and down into a good position. Then with straight arms and slightly flexed elbows pull your arms straight down to your sides. During this motion your shoulders CANNOT roll forward, and you need to use your upper back to hold them in place. Also you need to ensure you can engage your lats to do this motion and aren’t just cranking your neck and arms to do it.
  • Control the motion on the way back up by staying engaged through the muscles.
  • Another cue to keep in mind:  Watch that your pelvis doesn’t tuck, and your ribs don’t flare.  Both of these are compensations to not use the correct muscles, and these are movement patterns you don’t want to reinforce.

These are your lats:

lats

  • Lats can become ‘sleepy’ if you don’t use them very often. I encourage you to do this exercise slowly and ensure you can feel these muscles activating.

So try this exercise 3 sets of 12 reps with light weighted band to start.  Do these exercise 3 times a week with the rest of your strength training, or at home/work as a nice exercise to support better posture throughout the day!  Hold perfect posture, engage your lats, and I can guarantee your going to be standing taller, and getting a stronger back in no time!

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