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What back muscles am I neglecting?

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Hi! So, thanks to another member, I've realized that my posture is bad. So, I'm attempting to fix that. One issue is that my hips are pushed too far forward, which I'm working on (working on lower abs). But the other big issue is that my shoulders sit forward, and I'm trying to figure out how to work out my back to pull my shoulders backward. The problem is I don't quite know what muscles I'm neglecting and need to work out. If you look at the picture, you can see how my shoulders kind of slouch forward. My current workout goes something like this:


4 sets of 8 RDL (50lbs)

4 sets of 7 dumbbell rows (50lbs)

4 sets of 5 butterflys (30lbs)

4 sets of 5 hammer curls (30-35lbs)

??? [some sort of back flys that I don't think I'm doing right] ???


I could be wrong, but my thinking is that I need to be doing some sort of back fly to strengthen my back and pull my shoulders back, but I don't think I'm doing it right (or I'm just too weak there right now). I've tried back flys with dumbbells (standing and sitting forward), and with the cable machine thingy. But, I can't seem to pull my arms back enough to actually feel like I'm really working the muscles around/between my shoulder blades.


Am I aiming for the wrong muscles? Do I just need to use really light weights for now? Is it a mobility issue? Any advice you all can provide would be great!


Level 3 Assassin

STR: 7 | DEX: 4 | STA: 4 | CON: 5 | WIS: 5 | CHA: 3



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Really the best way to improve posture is just to concentrate on doing it all the time. Back straight, shoulders back. Catch yourself when you slouch and get back into the right position.

Strengthening your muscles will help a bit, but you can be strong as hell and still have bad posture.

That said, some shrugs or other trap-focused work wouldn't hurt.

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You're not hitting your rear delts, which will have a larger impact on your neutral shoulder position than other back muscles. I suggest face pulls.


But for the most part @calanthrophy has it down. Pay attention to how you stand/sit more than anything else. Also, shrugs are good (I suggest dumbells so you can actually shrug back a little the way your traps are design to contract).

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It looks like you're hitting the basic muscle groups, but for that knuckle forward / rounded shoulder posture you need to strengthen your mid/upper back and open your chest.

- You should really focus on squeezing your shoulder blades together on your butterflys and rows.

- Adding something like Lat pull downs that really focus on scapular movement should help get to those rhomboids involved too.

-Stretch out your chest from time to time, you can start a few min at a time just laying on the floor with your arms wide and palms up. When that's not enough put a folded towel or a small pillow under your shoulders.

   -If you want a more active chest/shoulder stretch look up 'cow face pose' on YouTube, look for a video with a strap to get started.


Posture is also about the deep skeletal muscles and habit, I use this process to teach it to most of my students and clients...



Easeful, Peaceful, Useful... "An easeful body, and a peaceful mind, allow you to become a useful person" -Swami Satchidananda


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Face pulls and seated cable rows are my favourites for mid back activation/strength - ie. rhomboids & lower traps. Careful on which muscles are pulling for your rows, done incorrectly DB rows can actually make things worse. :( I feel your pain, have been working on my posture for YEARS.

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Thanks for all of the advice everyone! You've definitely given me a lot to work with!


I'll start implementing all of your suggestions, and hopefully start making some progress.

Level 3 Assassin

STR: 7 | DEX: 4 | STA: 4 | CON: 5 | WIS: 5 | CHA: 3



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