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Upper Back Posture Exercises


Strengthening Upper Back Exercises continued...

Pullover (Strengthens mid--back and upper back)

Lie flat on back, knees bent, feet flat on floor. Tighten abs
Hold a dumbbell with both hands and raise it toward the ceiling above your chest.
Keep shoulder blades down and back. Keeping a very slight bend in the elbows, lower the dumbbell back and over your head to the floor or as close to the as far as is comfortable. Do not allow the lower back to arch.
Pause, slowly return to start. Repeat 10 times.

pullover start position
Pullover Start Position
pullover exercise

PullDown with exercise band (Strengthens mid--back and upper back)

Hold elastic band toward ceiling with overhand grip, hands a little wider than shoulder width apart. Do not lock elbows. Pull hands down and out to sides until band is about shoulder height and touches collarbone.

Pulldown with exercise band start positionPulldown with exercise band
Pulldown with Exercise Band

Anti-Slouching Stretching Exercises

Stretching the chest and front of shoulders can improve upper back posture. Chronic slouching can lead to chronic neck pain.

chest stretch

Chest Stretch with Clasped Hands: (pectorals and front of shoulders)
Stand with knees slightly bent. Hands behind the back, fingers interlaced, palms up. Extend arms backward and raise arms at high as they can comfortably go. Do not arch the back. Hold 30 seconds.

Stretching the Chest and front of the shoulders (along with strengthening upper back muscles) helps prevent and correct slouching (a common cause of neck and shoulder pain).


Wall Chest Stretch:
Stand with right side facing wall, left foot forward and right foot back. Place right palm and forearm against wall, fingers pointing towards ceiling, upper arm parallel to floor.
Slowly bend left knee so that body moves forward until you feel a stretch in the chest and under the arm. Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat on opposite side.

Doorway Chest Stretch:

Stand in doorway and place palms and forearms vertically on each side of doorway, upper arms parallel with floor. Put one foot forward and the other back and slowly bend front knee to move body forward through doorway. Hold for 30 seconds.

Shoulder Rolls:

Stand with neutral posture, arms hanging at sides. Slowly roll shoulders forward, then up toward ears, then backward, then back down. Repeat 10 times.

Back Against Wall Posture Exercise (stretches and strengthens muscles as needed for correct posture)

Stand with back against wall, feet about 3 inches away from wall. Do not lock knees (keep a slight bend in the knees). The back of the head, shoulders and buttocks should be touching the wall (don't force your head if it doesn't touch). Chin should be level with floor. Pull the shoulder blades closer together and down away from ears, lifting the chest slightly. Pull the lower abs in and up and bring your lower back close to the wall (should be able to fit fingers behind lower back). Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat three times.

To stretch to the chest, sides, and front of the shoulders, place the back of your hands against the wall. Keeping the shoulders down and back, move the back of your arms up the wall until they are overhead, reach your arms to stretch further and hold for 5 seconds and then lower the arms to start.

Back Against Floor (stretches lower back, front of shoulders and chest, strengthens abs)

Lie on back on floor. Bend your elbows to 90 degrees and place your forearms and back of your palms on the floor (they may not touch the floor). Bring the back of your forearms, shoulders, and lower back toward the floor.
Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat three times.

Tip: You can also relax in this position (lying on back with back of palms toward floor) to allow gravity to stretch muscles and release tension in back and shoulders.