These exercises help straighten your back and shoulders to improve your posture. They are oriented on a strengthening of the muscles of the upper back(including rhomboids) and back of the shoulders ( posterior deltoid ) but also on an “opening” of the thoracic cage and a stretching of the pectoral muscles and anterior deltoid ( in front of the shoulders). Realized regularly, they will help you to stay more upright.
You can repeat them a dozen times each , always taking the time to maintain muscle contraction for a few seconds , for more efficiency. Depending on how much time you have, you can do several exercises as a circuit training , or repeat a single exercise several times.
Materials needed: So that you can practice them regularly at home, we have deliberately selected movements that are easy to perform and require only a small amount of material. Only dumbbells and an elastic band are needed.
Instructions: Bring your shoulder blades together by “opening” the chest and pulling your shoulders back (contraction of the rhomboid muscles). Hold the contraction for a few seconds.
Breathing: Inhale while contracting.
Practiced with dumbbell in its traditional version, this exercise is a variant of the one-arm dumbbell rowing .
Instructions: Leaning on a bench or 2 chairs, back straight, pull the elastic up, elbow close to the body, then hold the contraction for a few seconds.
Breathing: Inhale while pulling.
The pullover helps to strengthen the upper back and chest while “opening” the rib cage. For this purpose, it is a very interesting exercise to perform as part of a correction of posture.
Instructions: Lying on a bench, or failing that 2 chairs or a coffee table, grab a dumbbell (from 3 to 5 kilos) with both hands and slowly lower your arms (slightly bent) backwards until you feel a stretch pectorals. Always keep your abs tight and your back straight. Hold a few seconds and return to the original position.
Breathing: Inhale downhill.
Instructions: Back straight, grab the elastic in front of you in pronation (palms of hand down), then spread your arms laterally until you feel a contraction in the shoulder blades. Hold the contraction for a few seconds.
Breathing: Inhale while spreading.
Realized with elastic, this exercise of back strength is a variation of the traditional horizontal draw with the low pulley , known of the practitioners of musculation. It is very effective to straighten his back and shoulders.
Instructions: Attach your elastic at shoulder height on a solid support (railing, window handle …), then back straight and contracted abs, pull backwards, elbows at shoulder height until feeling a contraction at the top back. Hold a few seconds in contraction.
Breathing: Inhale while pulling
Instructions: Take a pair of dumbbells. Bend slightly forward, back straight. Raise the dumbbells sideways, elbows slightly bent, shoulder blades constricted. Hold a few seconds in contraction.
Breathing: Inhale by lifting the dumbbells.
Instructions: Lie on the floor, on your stomach. Reach out in front of you. Lift your shoulders and arms vertically by “pulling” your shoulder blades. Hold the position for 5 seconds then start again.
Breathing: Inhale while raising your arms.
Instructions: Lie on your stomach, your forehead resting on a rolled towel to keep your head upright, 1 dumbbell in each hand (or water bottles), take off your arms as high as you can. Hold the contraction for a few seconds.
Breathing: Inhale by raising weights.
Instructions: Position your hands on each side of a door frame, then let yourself go forward with your shoulders facing back. Adjust the position of your feet so as not to make the movement strong. Hold the stretch for about thirty seconds. Raise your hands further with each new repetition.
Breathing: Breathe slowly.
To go further: 10 exercises of stretching of the shoulders
Instructions: Stand on all fours. Make the back hollow by “pushing” your buttocks backwards and looking forward, then round back by tucking in the buttocks and head (grow to the maximum). This change of position will make you aware of your positioning and will greatly help you improve your posture.
Breathing: Inhale in the hollow position and exhale in a round back position.
To go further: 3 back stretching exercises
At the beginning of the article, we mentioned muscle imbalances to explain poor posture. Depending on the sport, some muscles are more stressed than others and some bad postures become automatic. For example, poorly trained weight training can create imbalances. This is very common among practitioners who favor the work of the anterior pecs and deltoids to the detriment of the dorsal muscles, especially the posterior deltoids and trapezius . To avoid having a bent back and shoulders retracted, the anterior chain (pectoral, abdominal, quadriceps) and the posterior chain should be trained fairly.(dorsal, lumbar, hamstrings). This is one of the important points of Yoga and Pilates , methods that treat the body as a whole. Do not hesitate to ask a sports coach at home for an initiation, to straighten your back and thus improve your posture.
Improving one’s posture is not done exclusively during sports sessions. Holding a correct position on a daily basis helps straighten your back and look better. Think about it when walking, when sitting behind your desk, or when carrying a heavy load. Having low, relaxed shoulders and tight shoulders should become an automatism. This will save you from having your back arched.