By Pilates instructor – Emma Boggi
We can talk about the back in 2 parts, the upper/mid back and the lower back. And both are equally important and play key roles in movement and posture…. along with looking stunning in a low cut/backless frock.
But today I’m going to focus on the upper to mid-back as most people are unaware of the importance it plays with regard to arm strength. Yes, that’s right, your upper back significantly impacts how strong your arms and shoulders are, how your arms move and your posture.
When you think of arm strength the focus often shifts to purely the arm itself and the key players of biceps and triceps. Without doubt we want nice tone in these guys because no one wants tuck shop arms, however, in truth big biceps are great for carrying shopping bags and triceps for getting us out of the bath.
The whole raising arms over head, moving of large objects, (eg: tantrum-ing toddlers, small puppy dogs, wayward bicycles, gardening, packing the car for weekend activities) requires a strong upper to mid back as your Latts, Traps, Rotator Cuff, Serratus Anterior and Rhomboids along with your Deltoids and Pec Major (which is the odd one out here because it’s on the front of you) all contribute to your arm movement and strength. And also create that gorgeous posture of open shoulders while encouraging neck elongation (…. think Audrey Hepburn).
Three simple exercises, which are done lying face down, can really strengthen and tone the upper back and make a big difference to your posture; dart, diamond press and swimming are all Pilates exercises that work these areas creating strength, tone and improved posture.
Click on the images below to be taken to Youtube to view video demonstrations by ‘MyBody Studios’ and ‘Pilates Digest’.
Couple these exercises with a few shoulder stretches and mobility exercises and you will be rocking out that halter neck top by summer!