Having good posture can really make you look 10 pounds thinner! A rounded spine makes your abdomen pooch out. And if you spend hours hunched over a computer, you need to combat the inevitable slouch every chance you get to help relieve back and neck pain. Try this variation on the reverse fly; it's the perfect antidote to bad posture. It not only strengthens the upper-back muscles (both the rhomboids and the middle part of the trapezius), but it also tones the back of the shoulder (aka posterior deltoid).
Grab an exercise band (or Thera-Band) and follow these steps. Modify the difficulty of this exercise by altering the amount of slack you have in the band before opening your arms: more slack will be easier, and a tighter band will offer more resistance.
- Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, keeping a slight bend in the knees. With straight arms, hold the exercise band in front of you with your hands slightly lower than your shoulders. Keep your elbows slightly soft to avoid hyperextending the joint.
- On an exhale, pull abs to spine to stabilize your torso as you open your arms out to the sides, focusing on the shoulder blades sliding together. Inhale as you slowly return your arms back to starting position.
- It's easy to arch your spine and push your rib cage forward when opening your arms, so really focus on the abs keeping the spine stable. Do imagine yourself growing taller as you open you arms to reinforce good posture.
- Do three sets of 12 to 15 reps.