It’s been said before, and we’ll say it again: The way that many people spend their days—sitting down at work and craned over their phones at every other moment—is absolutely terrible for their posture and overall health. That, coupled with bending over your handlebars can lead to bad posture and back pain.
Even full-time trainer Charlee Atkins, C.S.C.S. sees herself as one of the craned over, tech-neck suffering masses, so she’s sharing her top exercises to help you straighten yourself out.
“Let’s face it, we sit at desks and look at phones all day,” says Atkins. “Here are my favorite exercises that you can do at home or in the gym to help train your posture.”
The best part? All you need to try the series is a pair of dumbbells.
[Looking to start cross training but don’t know where to start? The Beginner’s Guide to Strength Training will teach you all the fundamentals to get the most out of your weight session, priming you for stronger miles in the saddle.]
Perform each exercise for 30 seconds unless otherwise noted.
1. Dumbbell Carry: “Great for the core and posture. My favorite cue: Puff your chest out like you’re walking out of the gym on chest day,” Atkins says.
2. Dumbbell Row: These hit your back muscles, and help you retract and depress the shoulder blades. Perform 10 to 12 reps.
3. Y- and T-Raise: Great warmup drills to do before any upper body day. In fact, you should do them to start the day to begin the morning loose. Perform 10 to 12 reps.
4. Scapular Push-Up: Use these to mobilize the shoulder blades.
5. Around the World: Use a light weight and take the arms through their full range of motion. Try the exercise from a kneeling position to eliminate the ankle and knee joints, to put more focus on your arms and core.
Take on the full series before a workout to loosen up after a long day, or program in individual exercises as needed.