View Full Version : Back Exercises

09-01-2005, 22:38
Hey everyone,
Following a bout with pneumonia and then mono, and a very unhelpful doctor who told me "any kind of exercise = instant death", I am out of shape and have developed [more] back problems because my shoulder blades are starting to slouch forward. I make an effort to hold them back and do back exercises, but nothing seems to be working. I was wondering if any of you head exercises that might help me?
Currently I'm doing:
Seated rows using just the back (straight arms, pull shoulderblades together)
Lat pulldowns again trying to isolate the upper back
Inverse flys (flies lying on stomach on bench)

My lower back is very strong, it's just my upper back that needs to be 'tightened'.

Thank you very much for your help,


09-01-2005, 22:41
I was wondering if any of you head exercises that might help me?
might not be a bad idea to consult with a good physical terrorist...i mean therapist...

09-05-2005, 01:47
I am out of shape

My lower back is very strong, it's just my upper back that needs to be 'tightened'.

Thank you very much for your help,


Don't go crazy with a PT program given your recent illness, which was serious. It will take a while for your immune system/body to fully recover, maybe months. You don't want to push so hard that you relapse with pneumonia. Too much activity will suppress your immune system making a relapse more likely. Work out, but not too much, and get plenty of sleep and adequate nutrition.

Nothing develops the upper back like pullups. Dump the rows, pulldowns, and flys. They won't do much for you. 1 pullup with your bodyweight is better than 100 reps of lat pulldowns with any weight you can load the machine with. You should do pushups and lots of situps/crunches too.

Do bodyweight PT.


Commo Dude
09-26-2005, 07:11
Definitly pull-ups. + Military press for your shoulders.

09-27-2005, 16:44
I have a buddy that swears by this place = www.egoscue.com :lifter
You might give them a try. Good luck. Lets us know how you do.

09-27-2005, 17:25
I do a couple of his exercises. They've helped w/ recovering from some back and hip injuries.

09-27-2005, 17:54
I'm already a big body-weight exercise guy, but I like to do both body weight and weight exercises. It's just a matter of personal preference, I suppose.
When it comes to back exercises which tighten the muscles in between the shoulder blades, however, I find that pullups do not really target them as it takes too long for them to be "hit", during which my arms or even just hands will reach exhaustion. As I said, my back is already strong, it just needs to be 'tweaked' to relieve pressure in my neck, and the exercises that my phys. therapist recommended are taking too long.

It was for that reason that I was wondering about weight/body weight exercises which might help.

Sterling, I appreciate the website advice. Does anyone else know any exercises whatsoever that target either the muscle directly behind the neck or the muscle inbetween the shoulder blades?

Thank you again,


09-27-2005, 22:41

You might check out = www.exrx.net

This site has a lot of good info. Take care.

09-27-2005, 22:46
Definitly pull-ups. + Military press for your shoulders.


09-28-2005, 10:17
While some of the exercises mentioned above will be beneficial, I will say that the very best solution for your posture problems is self-discipline. Make a concious effort every day, all day to pull your shoulders back and down, to stretch your neck upwards like there's a ceiling 1" above the top of your head you're trying to touch, and to pull your lower back forward and your gut in towards your spine. Yes it hurts at first, yes it takes effort, and yes its difficult to maintain in the beginning, but no amount of exercises or conditioning will make you maintain proper posture, only will and self-discipline will do that. If you truly want it, you'll make yourself do it, or you'll give in to temporary comfort and ease and let yourself hunch forward and deal with the pain. Your choice.

09-28-2005, 11:11
Totally agree. I'm doing this already, and although I'm sick now and can't go to the gym until I recover, I was noticing a serious change in back pains/neck pressure with the new posture. The hardest thing for me is to maintain the same position at all times- without a mirror, it can be hard to resume the same position after a movement.
I'm learning, though, and it's working slowly but surely.

Thanks for the advice everyone,


09-28-2005, 20:23

As an addendum to the exercises mentioned, see if you can find a practitioner of Alexander Technique in your area.

This technique shows you how to hold your body for the best possible posture, relieving stress and therefore pain caused by inefficient movement/habits. It works on the fact that your body should be held up by the framework of your skeleton, not just muscles.

It is gentle, but extremely effective.

There is a ton of info on the net about it, it has had numerous scientific studies done demonstrating it's efficacy.

A couple of links to get you started:

Alexander Technique (http://www.alexandertechnique.com/)
Alexander Technique and Posture (http://www.posturepage.com/alexander/)