Sitting all day… you know what that means, right? Tightness and pain in the upper back. Here’s a workout to fight that and overcome upper back pain.
After hours working on the computer I tend to start to round my shoulders forward and slouch. I know better, don’t we all. But the consequence is the same, headaches and pain in the upper back. The problem is that most workouts will not help alleviate the problem, they may in fact make your upper back pain worse.
Scapular Movement – Overcome Upper Back Pain
One of the keys to overcoming upper back pain is to work the muscles that pull your shoulders back and down – scapular movement.
The scapula, aka your wing-bones, are moved by a number of different muscles in the back. The three primary muscles involved are your the middle trapezius, the rhomboids, and the latissimus dorsi.
These muscles will often be skipped by the traditional workout in any globo-gym. Instead a typical workout will leave you pushing, pressing, and curling your time away. Neither will help offset our life stuck in the cubicle. We need something different.
The best exercises for improving scapular movement are rows. So this workout is going to focus on two variations of rows: ring rows and kettlebell bent rows.
Correct Movement for the Row
With any row movement start with a fully extended position. First extend your elbows, then let your shoulder blades move forward (protract). As they drift forward you should feel a stretch through out the middle back; remember the three muscle groups including the middle trapezius, rhomboids, and latissimus dorsi.
Initiate the row by focusing on your shoulder blades. Concentrate on pulling them back and together; almost pinching your spine. Keep your back straight. Once the shoulder blades are back engage your arms and pull close.
Now reverse the movement. Once your arms are fully extended again, shift your focus back to your shoulder blades. Let them shift forward to feel that full extension and stretch across the back. Do not skip this last range of motion; this is key to fighting your upper back pain. Engage the back it has been slumping forward all day.
Cube Dweller Fitness Upper Back Pain Avoidance Workout
Here is the workout to nip upper back pain in the bud. It is simply three sets of three exercises with a one minute break between each set. Aim for 8-12 repetitions of each exercise. If you can do more than that shift to a more difficult variation, or add weight with a weight vest or bulgarian training bag.
Video of the Upper Back Pain Avoidance Workout
Exercises of the Upper Back Pain Avoidance Workout
- Ring Rows
- Supine Ring Rows – vary the ring height to adjust difficulty
- Crunched Full-Body Rows – for more challenge
- Ring Push-Ups
- Standard Ring Push-Ups – vary the ring height to adjust difficulty
- Archer Ring Push-Ups – a harder variation for progressions
- Kettlebell Bent Over Rows
Finish the Workout with Tabatas
Now finish the workout off with a two exercise Tabata: kettlebell swing and burpees.
Simply set your Tabata timer for 8 rounds of 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest. Alternate between kettlebell swings and burpees for each work period.
Finish it in style.
Fight Upper Back Pain
If you are cube dweller like me, give this workout a try and let’s fight upper back pain together. Row your way to building better posture and a stronger upper back.
Let’s hear what you think of the workout.