If you’ve ever noticed guys at the swimming pool or beach stick out their chest and suck in their stomach as a beautiful woman walks by, you already know that pulling the shoulders back has a slimming effect. Not only that, but technically it’s also better posture. In this day and age, our bodies have gotten so used to sitting behind a desk and slouching on the couch that bad posture just comes naturally. If you work on strengthening the upper back and shoulders, not only can you improve your posture by pulling the shoulders down and back, but also create a slimming effect at the same time.
There are three basic rules to improve your posture and your looks:
- Think about your posture all the time. If you keep your posture on your mind, you will consciously keep your shoulders down and back. Whether in your car, behind your desk, or in front of your big screen, think about what you are doing with your posture.
- Don’t do so much chest work in your workouts. Women don’t usually have this problem since they tend to balance their strength training routines better. Men tend to be the real culprit of doing too much chest and not enough upper back. Every guy wants a nice broad chest, but if you improve your upper back training you will see your chest stick out more, thus giving you more size up front.
- Finally, add these exercises to your regular routine:
Dead Rows with a Barbell
While gripping a barbell underhanded set your feet about shoulder width apart with your toes pointed forward. With your knees bent slightly and your shoulder blades pinched together, bend forward at your hips until the barbell is rested just above the kneecaps. Once you reach this point, pull the bar to your bellybutton focusing on keeping the back nice and straight and elbows straight behind you. After touching your bellybutton, slowly return the barbell back to your knees. Finally stand back up squeezing the glutes tightly to take some of the pressure off the lower back. Repeat the entire motion.
Bent Over Rear Deltoids with Dumbbells
With your feet shoulder width apart, toes forward, knees slightly bent, and shoulder blades pinched tightly together, bend forward at the hips until the dumbbells are hanging in front of your knees. Once in position, bend the elbows slightly and raise the arms perpendicular from the body until you get to shoulder height. Make sure to leave the elbows in the same position throughout the entire motion of the arms. Once you reach the top of the motion, slowly lower the arms back to their starting positions. After finishing exercise repetitions, stand back up in the same manner as the Dead Rows.
Superman on a Stability Ball
With the stability ball in front of you on the floor, kneel down with your knees just behind the ball. Lay forward with your chest supported by the ball. Push off your knees so that all your weight is supported by the ball and your toes. As you extend your legs straight, also extend your arms above your head. The end position should look like Superman flying through the air. Return to starting position and repeat. When adding these exercises to your current routine, do from two to four sets for eight to twelve repetitions each set. Start light on the repetitions and weight. You should only do two sets for eight repetitions each set for the first couple workouts. After the first couple workouts, try to add a few repetitions, then sets, and finally weight. Do not increase weight until you have mastered the sets and repetitions.