Your posture tells people a LOT about you....if you're slumping, you project weakness, lack of confidence and depression.
And that is NOT how most people want to feel about themselves!
When you think good posture, the first think you think of is shoulders back.
And there's a reason for this...(as my good friend and movement specialist Will Chung was telling me)...everything starts from the shoulders. And that includes all our compensation patterns that cause problems lower down in the body.
Think of it this way...when your shoulders are forward, your body compensates for the altered "stacking" of your weight by shifting your pelvis forward as well, so it sits under the shoulder girdle. Now your back is hunched over and your butt is tucked under. You're gradually turning into the letter C from the waist up.
And sure, we can (and should) always be mindful of our posture and make a conscious effort to keep our shoulders back...however, that's also not practical. You can't spend your day constantly monitoring your posture. I'm terrible at multitasking and trying to do THAT and anything else at the same is just not going to happen.
Therefore, you need a way to keep your shoulders back automatically.
And that means strengthening the muscles on the back of your body, so they're pulling the body backwards into better alignment ALL THE TIME, without you having to be aware of it.
These muscles include the rear delts, teres major, rhomboids and middle trapezius... and they're critically important for maintaining good alignment in your body, in addition to being important for overall physique development.
That's where THIS insane-looking exercise comes in...
I call them Lying Rolling Rear Delt Flyes...and they target the upper back postural muscles VERY effectively.
First, you'll need a light to moderate weight dumbbell (just one).
Lie on your back on the floor, legs straight, right arm directly out to the side (also flat on the floor...I like to make a fist to better develop tension). Hold the dumbbell above your body at arms-length.
Bring the dumbbell over to your right, so your entire body starts to roll to the right as a solid unit.
Come all the way down until your hands are touching and your lying on your side.
HERE IS THE CRITICAL PART!!
Push into the ground with your BOTTOM hand/arm. Your left arm should be LOCKED into position and not move during the exercise. Think of it as a solid lever arm that has weight at the end, not as part of the exercise. This is easier to see in the video demo.
The rear delt of that side will get good isometric work as you hold the weight in position, but it's the bottom arm that should be the focus of the movement.
Do 4-6 reps with one arm (you can do more reps, if you're using lighter weight), then switch arms and do the same with the other.
Start the movement by letting the dumbbell come over a bit.
Then all the way down, under control.
Then push back up.
Repeat for 4-6 reps (or the same as you did on the other side), rest 1 minute, then do another set of both. I recommend 2-3 sets of this one, done at the end of your shoulder training.
Bottom line, if you have issues with posture and your shoulders slumping forward and you need a simple exercise to help improve that, try this one. It's very easy to do and very effective.
As well, if you find that rear delt lateral raises don't hit that area well enough, this exercise provides a very unique training stimulus for them and can really help you balance out your shoulder development.
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