Gravity is a beast: Beyond its pull on your boobs and butt, it also presents special challenges to your back, spine, shoulders, and core. In order to stay upright all day, your body is literally fighting against it, which can be seriously exhausting if your muscles aren’t up to snuff.
The stronger your postural muscles, the easier it will be to maintain optimal alignment throughout your body. Think: Shoulders and torso pulled back, with your pelvis sitting directly under your center of gravity. (In other words, not slouchy AF.) Fun fact: When you’re not standing up straight, you expend unnecessary energy all day long, which can result in low-level fatigue. Ugh.
Beyond the health benefits, a strong and lean upper back is sexy as hell. And metaphorically, there is something really freaking awesome about feeling strong enough to carry a grown man on your back. So without further delay, here are my five favorite exercises to strengthen this crucial area. (For more tips on how to build muscle, pick up my book, Lift to Get Lean.)
The Workout: Complete three sets of each move, resting for 30 seconds in between. Then, proceed to the next exercise. Be sure to choose weight loads that make the last two reps of every set feel very hard while maintaining proper form.