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Posture Exercises for Bodybuilders

When it comes to bodybuilding, muscular balance and symmetry are critical. One of the drawbacks to a typical bodybuilding training regimen is that the majority of the exercises are executed in the sagittal plane, which means most exercises involve front to back movements such as bicep curls, chest press, leg extension and leg press.  These movements lacks frontal plane or side-to-side movement. Training predominately in the sagittal plane (front to back) for an extended period of time can lead to slumped or forward flexed posture, rounded shoulders, stiff hips, and a greater likelihood for injury. Side-to-side movement should be supplemented in order to provide a more well-rounded and balanced program that will improve posture and prevent pain and injury in the long term. To keep in mind when incorporating frontal plane movements is the tendency for a body that is very strong in the sagittal plane to want to cheat. The natural tendency is to avoid recruiting the proper muscles that stabilize the body in the frontal plane. 

Posture Muscle Activation Exercises

In this video, I’m going to introduce to you two exercises that will promote extension of the spine and improve shoulder position. They will also target and strengthen lateral hip stabilizer muscles. Pay careful attention to the instructions, positions and equipment involved. These exercises are designed to prevent the body from compensating, and to promote activation of the correct musculature. The exercises are: 
  • Kneeling tricep stretch with abduction – 3 sets of 20 reps
  • Sitting abductor press – 5 minutes of continuous pressing
For the best results, try doing these exercises before you work out. They will put your body into a better position and they will activate key stabilizing posture muscles.

Exercise Instructions

Kneeling Tricep Stretch With Abduction

  • Place a non-stretchy strap around your ankles so that your ankles are one and a half fist-widths apart.
  • Kneel in front of a chair or bench.
  • Place one hand on each shoulder and place your elbows on the chair or bench.
  • Walk your knees back so that your knees are beneath your hips. Your knees, hips, and shoulders should all be in line with each other.
  • Collapse you shoulder blades together.
  • Arch your lower back.
  • Press and release your ankles out against the strap for 3 sets of 20 reps.
  • Be sure to keep your low back arched for the direction of the entire exercise.
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