Train your back to improve your posture and reduce pain is a good move. But choosing the wrong exercises or overemphasizing them, has no benefits for your posture and health and can even make it worse. Discover the best back workout for your posture.
What you will learn in this article:
Overtraining (the wrong muscles) is ruining your posure!
The lats (Musculus latissimus dorsi) are one of the biggest muscles in the upper body, and have a huge influence on your posture, spinal movement and shoulder functionality. Tight lats can not only contribute to poor posture, causing you to adopt a rounded shoulders position, but can also limit your performance (especially when it comes to overhead movements) and cause shoulder & upper back pain.
The pain usually doesn’t kick in until there is a significant tightness in the lat muscle that generally has built up over many months or years, most of the time due to repetitive movement patterns or imbalanced training. So to optimize your training you not only need strong but also flexible lats. So, which are the best back exercises?
Try these back workout for your posture
Stretching exercises for your posture to include in your back workout
You can stretch your lats with a resistance band that is anchored to a pull-up bar, or any other object. Grab the band and lean a bit forward allowing the band to open up your shoulders. After that rotate your upper body to the banded side, while moving it towards the ground.
It’s also possible to do the same with rings, by using your own bodyweight as as form of resistance to apply the stretch. Other good options are lat stretches on a wall, a doorframe, a bench, or even on other objects like your couch or a chair.
We also recommend hanging as some form of passive stretch. To do it right try to open your shoulders as much as possible, aim for a posterior pelvic tilt with a completely straight spine and a neutral head position. In addition it could also help to lower the muscle tension with foam rolling.
Mid back exercises to improve your posture
The best back exercises to target your mid back are all form of rows. Make sure to move your shoulders backwards and with that retract your shoulder blades. Other exercises with the same focus are rear delt presses, bridges, swimmers, hyperextensions with arms in a static swimmer position and wall angels.
You can also modify the standard pull up to a more mid back focused movement. To do so, focus on an arched back and try to mimic a row movement. For another pull ups variation, pull your elbows behind your back as much as you can, don’t shrug your shoulders, and depress your shoulder blades as much as possible.
Rotator cuff exercises
Besides the mid back, you should also give your rotator cuff some attention. This is necessary to strengthen the outward rotators of your shoulders and work against the internal rotation caused by the tight lats. The picture shows a couple of rotator cuff exercises that target these muscles in different positions.
Mobility exercises to include in your back workout
Don’t skip this crucial part of your workout! Mobility exercises help you avoid possible injuries, reduce existing pain, and perform exercises better. Of course, they also make you more mobile and flexible. If you´re looking for a detailed exercise routine with follow along videos, check out our Mobility 2.0 course. For beginners, short routines of about 10 minutes are enough, while for more experienced athletes the routines last about 30 minutes.
How should the best back workout for your posture look like?
Still trying to figure out how to piece together all these exercises to bring the best back workout for your posture to life? Check out our video, we have some tips for you!
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