The postural muscles of the common man aren’t what they used to be. We slouch all day in front of the computer; we thumb our phones; we barely look up from our meals to make eye contact with our families. The trouble is, these muscles play a huge role in the gym. They balance out a strong bench press. They resist forward folding under a heavy squat. And they keep shoulder blades in alignment and can restore all the modern damage we inflict. Here are amazing 5 upper back strengthening exercises.
Upper back and neck tension are complaints that are becoming more prevalent in physical therapy offices. With the increasing use of computers, desk jobs and time sitting in traffic, it’s hard to avoid these aches and pains regardless of how active you are these upper back strengthening exercises definitely ease issues.
Here’s why–most of our daily activities are done in front of us while seated. How many times a day do you spend driving, writing, typing or eating? Over time, gravity takes over and the shoulders begin to round forward, the chest becomes constricted, the head juts out, and the upper back becomes stretched out or rounded.
The result of this posture is shortened neck and weak upper back muscle pain. Consequently, smaller muscles that were not originally designed to be ‘postural muscles’ have to kick in and work hard to keep our bodies upright. In addition, certain sports including cycling and running can exacerbate the problem. Pain in the upper back and neck is often just a sign that your muscles are tired of doing a job they weren’t meant for. The solution is to fix the problem with upper back strengthening exercises, not the symptoms.
Upper back strengthening exercises at home (upper back exercises)
The moving blackburns series is useful as a warm up, builds scapular stability, and helps teach good movement patterns. It’s important to not just wave the arms around but to attempt to move the scapulae in concert with the arms. This means squeezing them down into the pockets as the arm comes back, and allowing them to upwardly rotate as the arms move toward the ears. If you haven’t done these before, they’ll make your mid and upper back scream. One of important upper back strengthening exercises.
Pull-aparts are simple, they require negligible equipment, very weak people can do them properly, and they make for an outstanding active rest exercise.
There are three main variations – the Y, T, and A. Ts for retraction, As for retraction and depression, and Ys will get a little more upward scapula rotation. All three will burn you up in a hurry.
We want the shoulder blades to protract forward as the arms move toward the front of the body, and to retract as the arms move to the posterior. Squeezing the scapulae tightly together, and not just moving the arms posteriorly, is key.
3Downward Dog at the Wall
Downward Dog at Wall Stand facing a wall with your hands at waist-height. Walk your feet back into a table top position with your feet directly underneath your hips. Lift the sitting bones towards the sky as you press the hands into the wall. Feel as if your heart is melting towards the floor. If you feel a great deal of stretching in the hamstrings, keep the knees slightly bent. Hold for six deep breaths, focusing on opening the chest and lengthening the spine.
4Standing Row With Exercise Band
Perform a standing row with an exercise band to strengthen your trapezius muscles, stretch your chest muscles and improve your posture. Wrap an exercise band around a pole at a height that is in line with your elbows. Hold the exercise band in each hand, and stand far enough away from the pole so that the band is taught.
Stand with your feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent, abdominals engaged, back straight and shoulders tall. As you exhale, pull the band toward you, hugging your arms against your rib cage and squeezing your upper back muscles together. As you inhale, release the band. Perform this one of back strengthening exercises three sets of about 20 reps to get upper back pain relief.
Begin this upper back strengthening exercises, lying on your stomach with your arms by your side. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and slowly lift your arms and chest off the ground, keeping your neck straight. Hold for 2 seconds at the top of the movement then slowly return to the starting position. Perform 3 sets of 10 repetitions provided it is pain free. This exercise may be performed with palms facing up or down.
As with all things, consistency is the key and the more regularly you practice these upper back strengthening exercises, the better off you’ll be. Ideally, you should get up every hour to stretch even for a minute or two.
It is possible that your pain is coming from a different condition and therefore is important to consult with a doctor or physical therapist prior to beginning any upper back strengthening exercises.