I want to share with you one exercise that you can incorporate into your workouts right now to help fix your posture. In the past, I have made videos talking about posture, especially pronated shoulders and how to fix them on a day-to-day basis. You can check out one of those videos by clicking on the link HERE.
Where Bad Posture Comes From
Today’s focus, however, is the back and more specifically, the rhomboids and how over time even if your training heavy and getting stronger and getting bigger, you can still start to have a hunchback even though the shoulders and the chest isn’t a problem because your rhomboids start to get weak, they don’t get engaged as much and as a result without even realizing it, as you’re walking around during your normal day, instead of being chest up and confident, you just kind of fall into a slouch. But we’re going to fix that right now!
This problem stems because when I first teach you how to do something like a seated cable row, I teach you the low row as a two-part movement where you’re getting into position and the first thing you’re doing is you’re retracting your shoulder blades, that’s what the rhomboids do.
From the retraction, you then pull the cable to your torso and repeat for reps. As you get better with the movement, it’s still a two-part movement, but it looks seamless.
However, when you start to lift heavier and you’re trying to overload your back, you start to bring a lot more back into the movement and a lot more biceps into the movement and you end up not worrying so much about scapula retraction. Normally the weight is just thrown back and so overtime the rhomboids start to get less and less attention and therefore they don’t get activated as much as they should during this kind of exercise. So you have to wake them up and reteach them what they need to do.
That’s what the batwing row comes in. This is very easy to do, all you need is a light pair of dumbbells and because you’re focusing on activating the rhomboids, this isn’t an exercise where you’re supposed to go super heavy. The focus here is to get a squeeze in the area, feel the muscle activate, contract it as hard as possible, return to the starting position and then repeat for reps.
You start by grabbing your dumbbells, then lay face down on an incline bench. Have your palms facing in, then pull up by retracting your shoulder blades to activate the rhomboids and then once you’ve retracted, pull your elbows up and squeeze as hard as you can, then come back down. You’re going to repeat this for 10 – 12 repetitions and you’re going to do 3 – 4 sets at the end of your next few back workouts until you start to fix your posture.
What you can even do too is do a static hold with this movement. You might do a set of 10, then on the 10th rep, you come up and squeeze and hold it for 5 or more seconds, and then bring it back down. Some of you might also want to try utilizing this movement as a warm-up technique before you start doing your heavy rows, which is totally fine as well. If your posture is especially bad, don’t wait just until back day to start doing this exercise. You can do it on other days during the week as well because you’re not overload, straining or tearing down muscle tissues here, you’re just activating. Whenever you’re activating this is something you can do daily or every other day and still get really great results.
If you have some posture issues like pronated shoulders that need a lot of work, use the tips in this article but also check out my other videos and articles about improving posture. They all have some really great tips to help you out!
Written by Scott Herman