4 Ways to Strengthen Upper Back Muscles
From the Comfort of Your Bed
While there are many exercises that help to strengthen upper back muscles, there are not many that you can perform while in bed. Rest your upper body on a pillow to help reduce neck strain and hold your arms out to your sides with palms face down. Inhale deeply and as you exhale, lift your arms as high as you can. Hold for 10 to 15 seconds and release, repeating 10 to 20 times depending on your comfort level. If desired, you can hold a weight in each hand; however, remember to choose a weight heavy enough for a back workout, but not so heavy that they cause you discomfort.
Forward chest flies are another great way to exercise the upper back. Hold a weight in each and bend slightly at the knees as you lean forward about 30 degrees. Lift the weights so that your palms are facing, the weights are touching at the center of your body and your elbows are bent 90 degrees. Slowly open your arms as far to the sides as possible, keeping the 90-degree angle with your elbows and then hold the open position for a count of 5. Slowly return to center and repeat 10 to 15 times, performing 2 or 3 sets depending on your fitness level.
Wow, What a Workout
Backward lifts can help you to strengthen the upper back, giving you a deep workout with or without weights. Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart and bend your knees slightly. Bend your elbows at 90 degrees, lifting your forearms up and moving your hands as far back as you can. Slowly lift your arms, trying to draw them even further back and then release to your starting position. Keep a gentle controlled rhythm performing 2 to 3 sets of 10 to 20 backward lifts.
Tip Top Shape With Tabletop
Table top is one of the best yoga poses for the upper back and also works to stretch the arms and neck. Sit on the floor with your legs together and place your hands about 1 foot behind your, turning your fingers in towards your buttocks. Inhale deeply and press into your hands, lifting your hips off of the floor. Try to place your feet flat on the floor and lift your hips and chest. Allow your head to relax back gently to stretch the neck and hold the pose for 3 to 5 deep breaths. To release, slowly lift your head and lower your hips as you exhale. Repeat 2 to 3 times.
- Anetlanda/iStock/Getty Images