Medically the review by Daniel Bubnis, M.S., NASM-CPT, NASE Level II-CSS, Fitness — composed by Kat müller CPT — updated on February 23, 2019

defining your back muscles

The means you was standing or sit shows just how well her joints and muscles room working. Negative posture alignment have the right to lead to problems like chronic back, neck, and shoulder pain. It can also cause muscle atrophy and weakness.

You are watching: Pulls the shoulder backward and downward

But exercises can aid strengthen the muscle in her back, top to far better posture and less pain as you obtain older.

The rhomboid muscles, located on your upper earlier underneath the trapezius muscle, play a huge part as soon as it comes to posture. This is specifically true if you have actually overdeveloped chest muscles or her shoulders pronate forward.

The rhomboids space rhombus-shaped and are used to traction the shoulder knives together. They likewise rotate the scapula in a downward direction and provide stability for your shoulders.

These five exercises assist strengthen the rhomboid muscles and improve your posture.


Lie level on her stomach top top a mat or bench. Organize a irradiate dumbbell in every hand. Place your forehead on the mat. Save your feet shoulder-width apart. Keep your arms prolonged and completely rested. Your palms should challenge in toward your body. This is your beginning position.Lift your arms as much as your sides until your elbows room at shoulder height and also your arms space parallel come the floor. Exhale. Keep your eight perpendicular to your torso and totally extended through the movement.When you’ve reached shoulder height, squeeze her shoulder blades together and hold for one count. Only your arms should be lifting up, naught else. The score is to isolate your upper back.Inhale, then progressively lower the dumbbells ago down to the starting position. Repeat 8 times.
Lie down on your stomach on a mat or bench with your forehead resting down. Keep your feet shoulder-width apart. Have your arms straight out over you, fully rested, with your thumbs up in the air. This is your beginning position.Exhale and then raise her arms increase straight. Keep them completely extended there is no lifting her head off the mat. This is strictly a shoulder and also upper-back exercise, so save your torso and lower body glued to the mat.Squeeze the muscles in between your shoulder blades as you lift up as high as you deserve to without break form. Host this place for one count.Inhale and slowly lower yourself earlier down come your starting position through your arms completely rested. Repeat 15 times.

Next level

For an progressed version that this exercise, you have the right to hold dumbbells in her hands instead of pointing your thumbs up.


Use a Smith an equipment or an aided pullup maker for this exercise.

Have a seat on the floor and also have her chest straight underneath the bar. Ar your feet shoulder-width apart and also bend your knees at a 90-degree angle.Engage your core and grasp the bar with your palms facing away indigenous you. Pull you yourself up, keeping your shoulders, torso, hips, and also knees in one right line. This is your beginning position.With your chest open, squeeze your shoulder chisels together by advertise them down and ago until girlfriend visibly advanced yourself up to the bar about 2 come 3 inches. Don’t heat or pull you yourself up. Organize this retraction because that one count.Keep breathing, relax the contraction, and come earlier to your starting position. Repeat 15 times.
Sit under on a bench v your feet level on the floor. Save your knee at a 90-degree angle. Hinge forward at the hips and hold a dumbbell in every hand through your palms facing away from you. Have actually the dumbbells resting in the an are between your legs and also the bench. Your stomach must be on your thighs, and your arms have to be totally extended to her sides. This is your starting position.Exhale and also engage her core. In one motion, do a turning back fly when lifting her torso far from her thighs and sitting upright.As girlfriend raise the dumbbells the end to your sides, rotate your wrists for this reason they’re now dealing with the ceiling, finishing at shoulder height. You might bend your elbow slightly if you need to. Your top body must be in a “T” position.When you’re sit tall with your palms in ~ shoulder height, turn your wrists downward to the floor and earlier up to the ceiling one time. This forces you to host this place for an extra count. You’ll strengthen your forearms and also contract her shoulder knives down and also back.Inhale, slowly reverse the steps, and also lower the dumbbells back down come your starting position v your torso on her thighs. Repeat 12 times.
Lean up against a wall. Store a tilt in your pelvis therefore there’s no arch in your back. Her head, back, and also butt have to be pressed firmly against the wall. Leave a slight bending in your knees so her legs aren’t fully locked. Completely extend her arms straight above you v your palms dealing with away native the wall. This is your beginning position.With your chest open up and back tall, squeeze out the muscles of her midback as you slide her arms down towards your shoulders. Save your earlier and the backs of her palms, wrists, and also elbows pressed up versus the wall. You must feel a contraction right away.Keep in mind, this exercise is complicated if you’re tight or have negative posture. End when her elbows are slightly reduced than shoulder height.Hold this place for one count. Inhale and also then push your arms ago up come your starting position there is no anything lifting off from the wall. Repeat 15 times.

Strengthening your back muscles and also learning to contract your shoulder knives can have a positive result on your posture. Yes sir a sense of command, confidence, and also less stress and anxiety on your back when you have actually perfect posture.

Learning come retract and contract your shoulder blades will enhance your squats, chest press, and also pullups. Much more importantly, the an ext you strengthen her back, the much less prone to injury you’ll be as soon as it involves working out or functioning at your desk.

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Kat Miller, CPT, has actually been featured in the day-to-day Post and also is a freelance fitness writer and also owner that Fitness with Kat. She trains at Manhattan’s elite Upper east Side Brownings Fitness Studio, is a personal trainer at brand-new York Health and Racquet club in midtown Manhattan, and also teaches bootcamp.


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Medically reviewed by Daniel Bubnis, M.S., NASM-CPT, NASE Level II-CSS, Fitness — created by Kat müller CPT — update on February 23, 2019