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Old 02-04-2012, 05:44 AM   #1
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Default Posture question



Hi all,

I have recently started at the gym.
My shoulders have always been hunched forward which in time will continue to form a humped back if I dont sort this.

I try to do rowing as a warm up to give extra work to my upper back with aims to help pull my shoulders back.

Do you have any tips?
Or is there any back support or device you can buy to help the posture?
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Old 02-04-2012, 06:32 AM   #2
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Having balance in your workout between rowing/pulling and pressing movements is something you should be aware of to start with and is usually the cause. Rounded shoulders is usually a combination of tight pec's and weak upper back muscles - traps/rhomboids. I'm currently doing quite a bit to correct my posture in the same way as you.

To loosen the pecs you can either go with stretching, something like doorway stretches or what I prefer is using a hard ball and rolling my pecs against the wall, this gives me a massive release and looseness.

My next suggestion would be wall slides. These might be hard at first but really make a difference for me when done correctly. Just keep the scaps down and avoid shrugging. Scroll down to number 7 in this article: T NATION | Essential 8 Mobility Drills.

To strengthen the upper back, rowing will go a long way, just make sure you're getting the most out of it. Here's some advice from another thread:
Quote:
Originally Posted by BendtheBar View Post
One of the ways I teach row and pullup form is:

Arms as hooks, start the row by moving the elbows back, finish by contracting the lats.

I use this style in conjunction with explosive pulls. It can often be misinterpreted as a bodybuilding mind-muscle concept, but it's not presented as such. It's mostly for training myself to use as much back as possible during my rows, so I don't pull only with my arms.
To really target the upper back and rhomboids I like to do band pull-aparts but there are a few other exercises you can do, diesel crew on youtube have a lot of videos for these. Face-pulls is a favourite of mine also with a scapula retraction at the start of each rep like in this video:

The last thing that I add into my upper body stretch/mobility routine is thoracic extensions. You can either use a foam roller or 2 tennis balls taped together for this, I think one version is in the T-Nation article linked above.

Doing these regularly and properly should start to make a difference and even just forcing your shoulders back when walking around will make a difference. Hopefully this will help you and if there's anything else I'm sure others will chime in.
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Old 02-04-2012, 06:37 AM   #3
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Do alot of corework to strengthen your mid section, thats were the main issue is likely to be - weak lower back and abs. By core work I mean things like front squats, olympic style squats, deadlifts and cleans all w/o a belt, in addition to situps and back extensions. Also some trapezius /rear delt work like JT show above and highpulls will do you good!
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Old 02-04-2012, 07:56 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JTurner View Post
Having balance in your workout between rowing/pulling and pressing movements is something you should be aware of to start with and is usually the cause. Rounded shoulders is usually a combination of tight pec's and weak upper back muscles - traps/rhomboids. I'm currently doing quite a bit to correct my posture in the same way as you.

To loosen the pecs you can either go with stretching, something like doorway stretches or what I prefer is using a hard ball and rolling my pecs against the wall, this gives me a massive release and looseness.

My next suggestion would be wall slides. These might be hard at first but really make a difference for me when done correctly. Just keep the scaps down and avoid shrugging. Scroll down to number 7 in this article: T NATION | Essential 8 Mobility Drills.

To strengthen the upper back, rowing will go a long way, just make sure you're getting the most out of it. Here's some advice from another thread:


To really target the upper back and rhomboids I like to do band pull-aparts but there are a few other exercises you can do, diesel crew on youtube have a lot of videos for these. Face-pulls is a favourite of mine also with a scapula retraction at the start of each rep like in this video:
DieselCrew.com - Shoulder Rehab - Face Pulls - YouTube

The last thing that I add into my upper body stretch/mobility routine is thoracic extensions. You can either use a foam roller or 2 tennis balls taped together for this, I think one version is in the T-Nation article linked above.

Doing these regularly and properly should start to make a difference and even just forcing your shoulders back when walking around will make a difference. Hopefully this will help you and if there's anything else I'm sure others will chime in.
Some great info here. Thanks very much. I'll have to get cracking on it.
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Old 02-04-2012, 08:00 AM   #5
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Kelso/Rearward Shrugs are bloody brilliant for posture.
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Old 02-06-2012, 11:55 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fazc View Post
Kelso/Rearward Shrugs are bloody brilliant for posture.
I'll give them a go, thanks Fazc.
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Old 02-06-2012, 04:44 PM   #7
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the most important part to keep your shoulders from rounding forward is to always remember when rowing or doing a back exercise...push your sternum out. it will make sure youre getting a maximum squeeze. also, if you cant do a row (for example) and hold the weight, its a sign you arent using the contraction to lift the weight, so go heavy, but be sure youre lifting the weight, not throwing it, swinging it, etc.
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Old 02-12-2012, 10:45 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by big_swede View Post
Do alot of corework to strengthen your mid section, thats were the main issue is likely to be - weak lower back and abs. By core work I mean things like front squats, olympic style squats, deadlifts and cleans all w/o a belt, in addition to situps and back extensions. Also some trapezius /rear delt work like JT show above and highpulls will do you good!
I agree with this. If you make your core stronger, you will have much better posture.
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Old 02-12-2012, 11:43 AM   #9
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Great advice given thus far... all suggestions will definitly play a positive roll.

Just chiming in to second Fazc's and JTurners suggestions of rearward/horizontal shrugging and pull aparts. Anything involving scapula retraction will go a ways toward improving posture.

Also fight to stay upright in your day-to-day life too. Corrective exercise will only go so far when you live the your life outside the gym like Quasimoto.
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Old 02-13-2012, 02:58 PM   #10
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vid sucks but you get it.
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