my posture is pretty bad and my shoulders are slouching. what exercises target a straight back and non-slouching shoulders??
Any form of Rows. That being said, you can makea an mental effort to simply stand up straiter too, it just takes practice. Think military “Stand up strait, chest out, shoulders back!”
as for the exercise, make sure you row with this posture too, be they db rows, bent over barbell rows, or cable rows.
Initiate the movement with the shoulder blades (pinch them together before you move your arms), when you do begin to pull with your arms, think about having a rope tied to your elbow and someone is pulling on it, your hands should jsut be holding on; the shoulder blades are still pinching the whole time, think about trying to hold a pencil in the crease in the middle of your back that forms between your shoulder blades. It takes some practice but it will make a difference.
ok. so that means i should probably focus way more on my form and keeping my back straight and chest out instead of trying to go heavy.
Dead lift, rows, pull ups, squats.
Ha! I had the same problem when I was 15. Those damn football coaches put so much emphasis on bench it made me look like I was slouched over all the time. My dad sounded like a drill sergeant “sit up straight!” When I started focusing on pull-ups and DLs, it got fixed.
Sorry for the slight hijack but when you say slouched shoulders do you mean like a curved forward upper back?
well, the upper back is curved a bit forward but the shoulders are hanging-curving forward and down as well.
Rounded shoulders caving in indicate a lot of benching and not much work on the back also bad posture.
You have to work at it every single day and correct it aware that you do it without noticing. It’s actually a lazy posture.
Try this exercise:
As you are reading this drop your hands to either side of your hips.
Now raise your shoulders upwards as if shrugging.
Now rotate your palms so that they are facing forward ( supinate ).
Now pull your shoulders back, tugging with shoulders, triceps, little bit of elbows but try to keep your arms straight. (remember palms still facing forward)
Now bring down your shoulders to normal height and rotate your palms back inwards toward your hips. You’ll feel part of your back including your lats squeeze.
With this your chest should be sticking out 1-2inches further. ( which adds to poor posture ). Head back, chin up, eyes straight ahead. Don’t tilt your chin skyward, this is just a posture correction so your head continues to remain in the proper position in relation to correct posture.
Keep doing this throughout the day and be aware of maintaining your posture constantly. You should get used to this overtime and if you have a crap back you may experience soreness in your back and lats the next day.
Then make sure to start working out your back, remember the back needs to be assaulted through a variety of exercises including heavy rowing, to counterbalance what you have done for your chest to create this rounding effect. Also the practice of not paying attention and maintaining your posture must be addressed daily.
Other exercises that may prove beneficial, Pullup variation, and wide grip try to have your chest to be lead. Pulldowns afterwards to chest - V grip pulldowns to chest, lot’s of row variations, lower back extensions. Basically there are a lot of parts of the back you should work on! Neglecting them has led to the current issue, don’t worry a lot of people that lift and are still relatively young run into this issue, I have a friend that is probably 215 and looks fairly muscular and nice abs but he has SHIT posture and defines the slouching shoulders.
I’d love to make him show me his back to see why he has such a horrible slouch it clear vibrant, lack of detail!
Perform this -
Daily mobilization work: Sit in a chair that comes up to the middle of your back. Put your hands behind your head, lift your elbows to the ceiling, and bend backwards over the back of the chair. Using the chair as the fulcrum, you’ll develop thoracic extension. The thoracic extension exercise should be performed for 10 repetitions, every 2-3 hours.
Excerpt from 8 Weeks to Monster Shoulders, Alwyn Cosgrove & Chad Waterbury.
Full link provided :
Pullups and pulldowns are going to reinforce slouched posture because they are both internal rotation. What you need is more external rotation.
Read this article and you will have a better understanding of what to do:
You might want to read the Neanderthal No More series as well. Lots of good ideas in there.