My posture use to suck.

However, nobody one tells you that your posture is bad – not your coworkers, your local GP or even your chiropractor.  It’s like having a booger up your nose that no one tells you about. People stop, stare and snicker instead.

Only a true friend will tell you, “Hey, you’ve got a booger up your nose!”

Lucky for me, I was set straight by a few friends and now I have much better posture.

But what leads to poor posture?

We live in a look down society. We look down at our smart phones, tablets and computers. We also sit too much and move too little, which is a recipe for disaster when it comes to our upper back strength and posture.

 

Don’t be this lady.

For every inch our ears are forward from our shoulders (forward head posture) you increase the weight of the head on the spine by an additional 10 pounds. (Kapandji, Physiology of Joints, Vol. 3)

This is bad stuff indeed. It can lead to the muscles of the upper back getting weak and inhibited. Further down the track this can lead to rounded shoulders and ape-like posture.

apes

Upper back strength also plays a huge role in the big lifts such as squats, deadlifts, chin ups and even the bench press, so this is a big deal for hardcore gym goers as well.

So how do you go about building upper back strength and improving posture?

Exercises like bent over rowschest supported rows, Lat pulldowns and pull ups all work great. Doing twice as many of these as pressing exercises is a must for healthy shoulders and good posture.

In addition, consider the following two exercises. Not only do they build upper back strength, the KB rack walk will challenge your core and lungs.

1. KETTLEBELL RACK WALK

Kettlebells are not just for swinging. Holding the bells in the rack position correctly takes a fair amount of upper back and anterior core strength.

Walking with the kettlebells racked only adds to the excitement.

 

Training suggestions

Pair this with any movement were the upper back takes a prominent role.

For example:

1A. Bench press, any pulling variation or back squats

1B. Kettlebell rack walk 40 yards.

Or try this little finisher.

Kettlebell rack walk 40 yards.

Do one walk every minute on the minute.  If one walk takes you 40 seconds, rest 20 seconds before you start your next walk. You can unrack the kettlebells if desired or keep them racked for an extra challenge.

Do five-ten walks or until your upper back is screaming at you.

2. High rep band pull-aparts. 

Be warned that these don’t tickle, but pull- aparts directly work the muscles in your upper back as well as your rotator cuff and posterior deltoid.

When done for high reps, this helps improve your muscular endurance (important for posture and holding your head up) and provides nice little muscle pump for your shoulders.

Who isn’t up for that?

 

Training suggestions 

On your off days, try to get in 100 reps in a day, doing at least 20 reps at one time. As you get more proficient, do less sets and more reps.

On your training days, this makes for a nice filler exercise while resting between sets on your big strength movement for the day. For example:

1A. Bench press, squat, deadlift or pull up

1B. Band pull a parts 20- 30 reps.

 

WRAPPING UP

Showing some love to the muscles you cannot see will help improve your posture and lead to a better looking and performing body.

Who doesn’t want that?

Need help with your posture or exercise routine? Contact me right here

 

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