Find Your Weak Link
The gym isn’t the only place you can throw your body out of whack. Slumping over a keyboard all day can do a pretty good job of that as well, says David Jack, director of Teamworks Fitness in Massachusetts. Detect upper-body imbalances with the wall slide. “If you can’t perform it with a full range of motion, that’s a sign of a weak back and tight chest muscles,” says Jack.
How to do it
Stand 6 inches from a wall and lean your head, upper back, and butt against it. Place your hands and arms against the wall in high-five positions, your elbows bent 90 degrees and upper
arms at shoulder height. Keeping your elbows, forearms, and hands pressed into the wall, pull your elbows as far down toward your sides as possible. Squeeze your shoulder blades together. Pause, and then slide your arms up the wall as high as you can to form a Y.
The next step
Didn’t pass the test? No problem. Do 12 reps up to 3 times a day to improve your posture and shoulder function. (Stop if your shoulders hurt, and see a doctor before resuming the exercise.) Also, in order to bolster your back and balance your body, add more pulling moves (pull-ups or rows, for example) to your workouts.
Illustration by James Provost
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