Upper Back Postural Exercises

Home / Resources / Exercise Videos / Upper Back Postural Exercises

To improve upper back posture we often recommend a combination of Wall Angels and Shoulder Blade Push Ups. Wall Angels stretches the front of the shoulders and mobilises the shoulder blades while Shoulder Blade Push Ups strengthen the muscles that pull the shoulder blades back, which in turn reduces neck tension and stabilises the small muscles (Rotator Cuff) around the shoulder joint.

If you sit for long periods of the day the Brugger Releif Position may encourage better sitting posture and reduce muscle tension if done regularly.

We recommend the remaining stretches if particular muscles related to the upper back are hindering good posture.

Wall Angels

  • Try to keep elbows against the wall, if you can put wrists against the wall to
  • Don’t arch your low back.
  • Elbows should go up to height of your ears and down to lower ribs.
  • 20 reps after prolonged sitting/ stooping or twice daily.

Alternatively this is fine to do on a floor, it is more forgiving on a mattress/bed.

Floor Angels with foam roller.

  • Only attempt when Wall Angels is easy, the foam roller puts considerably more extension through your trunk which maybe sore so be cautious.
  • Let elbows rest towards floor.
  • Don’t arch your low back.
  • 20 reps after prolonged sitting/ stooping or twice daily

Shoulder Blade Push Ups

These exercises strengthen the muscles which stabilise the shoudler blades. If they are weak the shoulder blades tend to slide forwards, around the ribs putting more strain on the muscles above the shoulder blades and the neck muscles. This may also move the shoulder joint forwards compromising the action of the rotator cuff muscles and leading to shoulder injuries.

Standing Shoulder Blade Push Ups

  • Elbows should be directly in front of shoulder.
  • Shoulders should not move, all movement is through the torso.
  • Keep elbows on the wall.
  • Work up to 20 reps, twice a day.

Floor Shoulder Blade Push Ups

  • Now more strength is required to push up body weight.
  • Elbows should be directly below the shoulders.
  • Shoulders and neck should not move, all movement is through the torso.
  • Work up to 20 reps, twice a day.

Plank Shoulder Blade Push Ups

  • Assuming the plank requires more strength to push up body weight, and works the abdominal muscles.
  • Elbows should be directly below the shoulders.
  • Shoulders and neck should not move, all movement is through the torso.
  • Work up to 20 reps, twice a day.

Brugger Releif

Developed by a Neurologist, Brugger this is a great exercise to improve seated posture particularly for those who sit all day at work or drive for long periods. But of course don’t do while driving!

Brugger Releif Position

  • Aim to do every 20-30 minutes that you are sat at a PC
  1. Pull shoulder blades together, not up.
  2. Draw chin backwards which should stretch the top of the neck.
  3. Then turn palms up.
  4. Keeping elbows against your side move hands outward.

Thoracic Extension Streches

Tennis Ball Thoracic Spine and Rib Stretch
Comming soon

  • Put two tennis balls in a sock or pair of thights, this stops them rolling around.
  • Lie back on them so one is either side of the spine at the top of your shoulder blades.
  • If needed turn palms upwards then move arms away from body to increase the stretch.
  • Lie on them for 1 minute
  • Then adjust your position so they are either side of the spine at the middle of your shoulder blades then at the bottom of your shoulder blades.

Foam Roller Thoracic Spine and Rib Stretch

Thoracic Curl with Foam Roller

  • Take care not to lift with your neck this may strain your neck muscles.
  • Do 3-5 reps with the foam roller at each of the 3 locations along your back.

Specific Strecthing for Upper Back Posture

We recommend the remaining stretches if particular muscles related to the upper back are hindering good posture.

Pectoralis (Pec) Stretch

  • Do in a door frame or on an inward corner of a wall.
  • Elbow slightly higher than shoulder.
  • Lean directly forwards, do not twist torso.
  • Turn head to opposite side
  • Hold for 10 seconds, repeat 3 times.

Latisimuss Dorsi (Lats) Stretch

    • Hold stretch for 10 seconds, repeat 3 times.

Diaphragm Stretch

Comming soon

      • Lie on a cushion, it should be under the lower part of your rib cage.
      • Lift your arms up over your head, ideally let them rest on the floor palms up.
      • Breathe deeply in and out, try to breathe out for twice as long as you breathe in. Do not continue this if it makes you light headed, seek advice.
      •  You may feel a stretch/pull just below your rib cage.

Diaphragm Stretch with Help

Comming soon

      • As above only someone gently pulls your arms creating more of a stretch.

Intercostal (Rib muscle) Side Stretch

Comming soon

      • This is best done sitting on a bench or sturdy table.
      • Lift arm, palm up above your head.
      • Put other hand on bench beside to support yourself
      • lean towards your arm on the bench, bending through your ribs.
      • Keep your pelvis still, lifting a hip off the bench will not stretch the rib muscles.
      • When you feel the stretch along your side breathe deeply to enhance the stretch.
      • Hold for 15-30 seconds, repeat 3 times

 

Start typing and press Enter to search