One of the most common postural issues in people is kyphosis, which is just a fancy name for a rounded upper back. This can cause a host of problems and is created by sitting in front of a computer all day, staring down at your phone, and driving long hours. It’s safe to say our ancestors didn’t have this postural issue.
The posture on the left would be ‘normal.’ You’ll notice that a little bit of curvature is normal.
1. Seated Thoracic Spine Rotation
This drill is great to work on rotation through the upper back. It’s important to squeeze something between your knees (foam roll or small medicine ball works best). This ensures that you don’t rotate through your lumbar spine (low back) and the rotation only happens through your thoracic spine. Make sure you get as tall through your upper back and chest before you rotate.
2. Db Bench Batwings w/3s Iso Hold
All rowing variations are great to work on getting out of a rounded upper back posture but the batwing is probably my favourite. Doing it with a long hold every rep increases both the difficulty and time under tension where you are in better postural alignment. I usually prescribe a 3 second hold for these on every rep and generally have people perform 6 to 8 reps per set.
3. Scap Wall Angels
You want to start these sitting down with your knees bent, and basically try to channel your inner child and do a snow angel – but against the wall. Your entire back and head should be touching the wall. As it gets easier you can progress the movement by straightening your legs, and then over time move to doing these while standing.