The following exercises work the back muscles responsible for holding the shoulders, shoulder blades and neck in the neutral position. Strengthening these muscles is important in maintaining good posture and preventing back and neck pain caused by poor postural habits.
While performing these exercises remember to never lock the knees or hold your breath.
Standing Row. Pull back keeping elbows up and out while retracting the shoulder blades.
Reverse Fly. Keeping arms straight bring the up back and retract the shoulder blades opening up the chest.
Upright Row. Bring the elbows up and out keeping the weights in front of you
Straight Leg Dead lift. Be Sure Knees are slightly bent and neck and back are in line with the spine.
Shoulder Shrugs. Be sure the neck stays in line with the spine and elevate the shoulders up and slightly back.
In order to restore proper posture the opposing muscles of the back, chest and neck, must be stretched to return them to the correct resting length. The following stretches can be performed in any doorway. Remember to never force a stretch but allow for only slight to moderate discomfort.
Chest Stretch. Keep the elbow level with the shoulder and rotate away from the wall stretching the chest.
Bicep & Forearm stretch. A variation of the above stretch that includes the bicep and forearms. Place hand facing up and arm directly in front of you then apply a gradual amount of pressure to reach desired stretch.
Forearm Flexor stretch.
Neck Flexor stretch. Place both thumbs under the chin and gradually push back on the head until a slight stretch is felt. DO NOT FORCE HEAD BACK.