My Favorite Back and Shoulder Workout
I love these exercises for my back and shoulder workout and they are great for any exercise level. It is simple and effective, includes all back musculature and three planes of movement, you’re standing, sitting, bending, laying down and uses unilateral and bilateral movements. Check out this post about foam rolling the pecs. I’d make sure to do that prior to starting these exercises. Some pointers…
1: Treat the first three exercises as warm ups.
Place an emphasis on squeezing the shoulder blades to recruit and activate more muscle fibers. Always warm up typically weaker under-active muscles before working the larger muscles.
2: Be aware of upper trap dominance.
If during these exercises you feel your shoulders creeping up towards your ears you likely have overactive upper trap muscles. If you are able to focus on relaxing your shoulders during these exercises then continue, but if you feel you are unable to keep your shoulders from rising then just stop the exercise you’re only making the muscle imbalance worse by continuing. Spend time foam rolling the muscles. Then have your massage therapist dig into your traps.
3: Keep neutral spine.
Don’t let your back bend or arch. Keep it engaged and focus on using your back muscles to initiate the movements. This will also allow your core to get some work as well. Have fun with this back and shoulder workout!
Muscles Work Together!
A reason why I did this and most videos without a shirt on is so you can see the different muscles involved in performing these exercises. Gone should be the days where you think you can isolate a muscle group because no one muscle performs a movement by itself. It has help and support.
The issue becomes when the primary muscle performing the action becomes either too weak or overworked and the smaller muscles intended to just help and support become stressed because they are being asked to take on a larger roll they aren’t meant for.
That’s how you end up with muscle imbalance, postural distortion, pain, tension headaches, bone spurs etc. So make sure you foam roll and stretch regularly on top of regular exercise. You’ll feel better and perform better.