Of all the things we go to the gym for, posture is rarely at the top of the list. However, it is one of the most important things we can consider improving in our lives. With more and more of us stuck sitting in office chairs for a large portion of our days, it is all the more important that we emphasize improving this core area of our bodies. The best part about all of these solutions is that you can do them anywhere with just one set of dumbbells.
Bracing the Back
The upper back is your best friend when it comes to inducing postural change. Office work has a tendency to bring the shoulders forward, inducing a slouch which is often hard to shake with just mental reinforcement. One way to have perfect posture working in the background is to perform dumbbell rows. This simple exercise builds up the lats and traps, two essential postural groups which counteract the slouching forces of the chest.
Fly On Up
With the upper back taken care of, there is still one area of the upper posterior chain that needs some love. The posterior delts, when strengthened, help to pull your arms back, keeping your chest proud and your spine aligned. A simple and effective exercise to target these often forgotten muscles is the reverse fly. Two light dumbbells work this area to great effect. Now with our arms back and our chest proud, there is only one major area left to target.
Taking a Lesson From the Farm
Core stability is the final piece in the postural puzzle. Stabilizing the whole trunk from the roots is essential to building an upright foundation. A simple way to bring this core into action is through farmer carries. Holding one heavy dumbbell by your side and going for a walk builds up the whole of the core: from the side obliques, to the bracing transverse abdominis, to those six pack muscles. As your body resists the one-sided weight, it will learn to resist instability in general. Just be sure to switch sides halfway through.
Bonus: Stretch It Out
Tense muscles are another limiting factor in the postural game, especially those of the pecs and the anterior delts. Performing a simple pec stretch against a doorway will allow your newly strengthened upper back do its best work.
Posture training is simple, and its benefits are extensive. Improve your overall health and wellbeing with these exercises that can be done from home, and enjoy their added aesthetic benefits as well. There’s no good reason to be hiding your hard work in the gym because of some rounded shoulders. So grab that pair of dumbbells and show your body some love. You’ll thank yourself in the future.