0 In Blog/ Postural Therapy

Upper back exercises that will fix your posture and reduce back pain

Hey guys!

Back on the blog this week with another postural therapy post. This time I want to write about how upper body posture can have a big impact on your lower body (hips and low back) –  the body is an interconnected system. I will then show you few upper back exercises that will help you tremendously restore proper alignment.


When you first get diagnosed with a condition (sciatica, herniated disc, piriformis syndrome, SI joint pain, etc.), you probably do most of the work in that one area of the body and completely ignore the rest.  I did this too. I would foam rolling my hips every day and stretching every half an hour.   I completely ignored everything else. In fact, I even forgot that some areas of my body existed I was just too focused on my low back.

The issue is, if your upper body posture is not aligned, your hips are also not gonna be aligned. You can’t possibly have a straight posture if your shoulders are rounded forward, your chest is tight and your head is always looking down.


One of the areas that gets mostly stiff and tight is the chest and shoulders area (pectoral and deltoids).  If you are spending most of your day sitting, driving or looking at your phone in that forward-head-shoulder position, your pectoral minor (a muscle that runs from your shoulder-blade to your sternum (breastbone)) is very likely to get really tight.


The problem with this is, your arms will internally rotate to stabilise the shoulder and this will lead to chronic tightness and shoulder pain. Just know this, you will be surprised at how much time you spend looking at your phone and sitting down.  It was a huge awakening moment for me.


In this post, I want to show you a few on-the-go exercises that you can do in few minutes to release your chest tightness and restore proper posture. You can do this in your office, at home or anywhere.

You will need:

A Foam Massage Ball

A Resistance Band or a Loop resistance band

In each exercise you will complete X amount of reps:  I’m not a fan of having an ‘exact’ number of repetition when it comes to resistance training. You should always complete each rep with proper form until failure.  That could mean 3 or 15, depending on your strength level.


pectoral muscle massage ball chest release

Pectoral wall release and wall stretch: Place the Foam Massage Ball (or a tennis ball) between your chest and a wall. Try to keep your  hand (my left as illustrated) behind your back. Press against the wall to apply pressure. Use your body to spin the ball away from the chest/shoulder. You will feel the tightness in that area so make sure you do this slowly to increase the pressure and explore that whole area.  I even lift my hand and rotate it up and down.

After you do this, move to the wall stretch.  You can do this exercise against the edge of a wall or door frame. Make sure your shoulder is down and both your hand and elbows are touching the wall. Rotate slightly (to the right as illustrated) as you move forward. Hold for few seconds, release and repeat

Now, get your resistance band and let’s work on strengthening the back muscles (postural muscles).


Resistance band shoulder stabilisation

Hold the Resistance Band and pull out to create some resistance. Shoulders down, move the band up, and keep the same resistance throughout the movement. Maintain a neutral posture as you move your arms up.  Remember not to overstretch the band at the top. Repeat this movement X times, rest and repeat 2 more times.

Shoulder Pull apart: Shoulders down. Pull the Resistance Band apart as you keep your wrists straight. Your body will touch the resistance band but keep your posture neutral. Your upper-mid back muscles should be working.  Think about your mid-back muscles doing the pull (imagine you are trying to bring your shoulder blades to touch each other). Control the movement back to starting position.  Complete 3 sets of X controlled reps.


Modification: if you are not familiar with the shoulder pull apart or can’t do the exercise properly, you can start by holding one end of the band with one hand, and pull with the other hand. You can also attach one end to a handle and pull with the other arm.

Rotator cuff strengthener: Hold the resistance band between your hands. Point your hands outwards for external rotation. Pull the band outwards as you externally rotate your arms in a comfortable range of motion. This is a small yet important exercise. Complete 3 sets of  X controlled reps. Rest for 40 seconds in between sets.


Low impact row: Start in a standing position. Anchor the band between your foot. Make sure both ends are equal in length and contract your shoulder blades and pull up. You will feel this exercise in your traps as well. Complete 10 controlled reps for 2 sets.

Standing band row: anchor the resistance band around a bar or a table leg (if stable enough). Step backwards to create resistance. Core engaged and neutral posture, pull the band and hold for a second and return to starting position in a controlled movement. Complete 2 sets of 10 reps.


You can complete the upper body exercises either back to back as a circuit, or just pick couple exercises and do them with a minute rest in between.   The important thing here is good quality repetitions, controlled movement and proper breathing.  Your back muscles will help maintain that good posture as you work on strengthening them.

I hope this post was helpful to you 🙂 Please let me know if any questions or comments. Oh, and the products on this post are affiliate links, so it just means I get a small commission from Amazon if you decide to buy any. Obviously I use them myself and wouldn’t recommend anything I don’t trust.


PS: don’t forget to grab your back pain kit!

You Might Also Like

No Comments

Leave a Reply

Increase more than 700% of Email Subscribers!
Dolor aliquet augue augue sit magnis, magna aenean aenean et! Et tempor, facilisis cursus turpis tempor odio. Diam lorem auctor sit, a a? Lundium placerat mus massa nunc habitasse, arcu, etiam pulvinar.
  • Goblinus globalus fantumo tubus dia
  • Scelerisque cursus dignissim lopatico
  • Montes vutario lacus quis preambul den
  • Leftomato denitro oculus softam lorum
  • Spiratio dodenus christmas gulleria tix
  • Dualo fitemus lacus quis preambul pat
  • Montes vutario lacus quis digit turtulis
  We hate spam and never share your details.
Increase more than 500% of Email Subscribers!
Your Information will never be shared with any third party.
Download your guide now!
Sign up now!
2016 (C) All rights reserved.
10 SIMPLE steps to a leaner you! Grab my free e-book.
Grab my free fat loss e-book!
60 BODYWEIGHT exercises you can do ANYWHERE!
I did the work for you!
Simply download this sheet, print it as a PDF or copy the workouts. Easy!
Get the exercise spreadsheet in your inbox!
Please enter your name and email below
  We hate spam too and will never share your details.
Access the Fit Library
Join over hundreds others, and get access to my free library of guides, e-books, planners, exercises, and much more. I created this library to help you have an efficient Fit and healthy lifestyle.
Not seeing results? You probably have been missing out on these 14 proven techniques to break through all your plateaus.
The checklist you need to investigate the pain
Download the e-book
Download your free Back Pain Kit
Get your free guide!