Rounded shoulders and bad posture have the unfortunate effect of making us all look heavier than we really are, especially in the midsection. If you spend hours hunched over a computer, you need to combat the inevitable slouch so you can rock your bikini at the beach or wow your wedding guests as you walk down the aisle.
Having good posture can really make you look 10 pounds thinner! So try this variation on the reverse fly I learned from my Equinox trainer, Lauren; it's the perfect antidote to bad posture. It not only strengthens the upper back muscles (both the rhomboids and the middle part of the trapezius), it tones the back of the shoulder, too (aka posterior deltoid).
Learn how to do this variation on a reverse fly after the break.
Grab an exercise band (or Thera-Band) and follow these steps. Modify the difficulty of this exercise by altering the amount of slack you have in the band before opening your arms: more slack will be easier and a tighter band will offer more resistance.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, keeping a slight bend in the knees. With straight arms, hold the exercise band in front of you with your hands slightly lower than your shoulders. Keep your elbows slightly soft to avoid hyperextending the joint.
- On an exhale, pull abs to spine to stabilize your torso as you open your arms out to the sides, focusing on the shoulder blades sliding together. Inhale as you slowly return your arms back to starting position.
- It's easy to arch your spine and push your ribcage forward when opening your arms, so really focus on the abs keeping the spine stable. Do imagine yourself growing taller as you open you arms to reinforce good posture.
- Do three sets of 12 to 15 reps.