Exercises for Great Posture…

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Question: I read your article last week and the question occurred to me, “Could I improve my posture from working out with weights?” You mentioned it and I wondered what exercises could I do to help me strengthen my back and stand taller again?
Answer: Visualize your spinal column as the mast of a ship and all the muscles on either side of your spine as the rigging holding it in place. Our backs are very well designed and can carry a tremendous load if we exercise properly and regularly. The muscles of the back tend to overlap to some degree and there are five groups on eithe side of the spine that carry the majority of the load. The Spinal erectors are located at your lower back and when developed well look like a Christmas tree rising from your glutes to about a third of the way up your back. These can be worked safely and indirectly by using Reverse Hyperextensions or regular Hyperextensions. Both of these exercises require little weight to build good strength and develop solid support for your spine. Your Latissimus Dorsi muscles are the largest muscles of your back and look like wings if fully developed. These along with the Rhomboids support the center area of the back. They are worked best with Pulldowns, Low Pulley Rows, Or Single Arm Dumbbell Rows. On all these exercise you can use moderate weight and pay particular attention to your form on these to get the best results with little potential for injury. Your Trapezius starts where your spinal erectors leave off and support your upper back between your shoulder blades and seem to be weaker which makes a noticeable difference in posture. These muscles can be worked with Dumbbell Shrugs most effectively. Use a light weight, a full range of motion and lift your ribcage as you exercise. These along with dumbbell pullovers are excellent for stretching you upper back.
After completing your workout, stretch your back to insure a full range of motion and decrease some soreness. Our jobs and the pace of our lifestyles tends to take a toll on our posture and if we don’t exercise then we lose strength in our supporting muscles and leave the load on our spine which eventually takes it’s toll on our spinal discs and posture.
God bless and keep training,
Daryl

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