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If you spend your day slumped over a computer, your posture is affected. Your shoulders begin to roll forward as your upper back loosens. Over time, your shoulders remain in this position. Exercises can counteract poor posture and strengthen the muscles on the backs of your shoulders, your posterior deltoids, and the muscles between your shoulder blades, the rhomboids. The stronger these muscles are, the taller you will stand -- your shoulders will return to their proper position.
Seated Rhomboid Row
Attach a V-Bar to the bottom pulley of a cable weight machine. Choose the V-Bar, which gets its name from its shape, for its two-handed, neutral grip position.
Set the pin in a weight amount that is challenging and causes muscle tension at the 10th repetition. Sit on the bench or the floor facing the machine.
Place your feet on the platform. Bend your knees slightly as you lean forward and grasp one handle with each hand.
Extend your arms. Sit up tall. Aim to form a 90-degree angle in your hips.
Exhale, bend your elbows and pull the bar toward your torso. Keep your elbows close to your body. Squeeze your shoulder blades toward each other to activate the rhomboids.
Inhale; straighten your arms to a full extension. Keep a slight bend in your elbows.
Repeat for one to three sets of 10 to 12 repetitions. Rest for 60 seconds between sets.
Rear Deltoid Raise
Select a pair of dumbbells that are difficult to lift after 10 to 12 repetitions. Hold a dumbbell in each hand. Sit on the edge of a bench or chair. Place your feet on the floor.
Bend forward. Face your palms toward each other. Begin with your hands in front of your legs or at the sides of your legs. Imagine you are holding a large barrel between your arms, so keep a slight bend in your elbows.
Tighten your stomach. Exhale, separate your hands and raise your elbows toward the ceiling. Hold for a count of one as you feel the contractions in your rear deltoid muscles.
Inhale and slowly lower the weights to start position. Complete one to three sets of 10 to 12 repetitions with 60 seconds of rest between sets.
Stability Ball Shoulder Stabilization
Place a large exercise ball on the floor. Begin on your hands and knees with your belly over the ball. Straighten your legs and press your toes into the floor. Walk backward until your stomach is over the ball, if you need to adjust your position.
Pick up your hands from the floor and rest your arms on the ball. Exhale and straighten your arms in front of you until your body resembles a capital "I." Position your thumbs toward the ceiling. Squeeze your shoulder blades toward each other to engage the rhomboids. Inhale and lower your arms to the ball.
Exhale, and extend your arms at a 45-degree angle until your body resembles a capital "Y." Keep your thumbs pointed at the ceiling. Inhale and return your arms to start position.
Exhale and extend your arms to your sides in line with your shoulders until your body resembles a capital "T." Position your thumbs toward the ceiling. Inhale and lower your arms.
Exhale, and bend your elbows to a 90-degree angle. Lift your elbows to the height of your shoulders so your body resembles a capital "W." Position your palms toward the floor. Inhale and slowly return to the starting position.
Repeat the I, Y, T and W lifts two or three times.
Stretch your chest and squeeze your shoulder blades to improve your posture. Stand tall. Bend your elbows. Point them at the floor. Raise your hands to the height of your shoulders with your palms facing up.
Squeeze your shoulder blades together. Hold for a count of five.
Release and repeat five times. Lift your arms higher as your strength improves.
- Begin your posture-improving workout with a warmup. Walk, cycle or march in place for five minutes to increase blood flow to your working muscles. Perform the exercises every other day to allow time for muscle recovery. Select a weight amount that is challenging at repetition number 10.