Improving Posture

Listed below are major postural muscles, there functions, and exercises to strengthen them.

Erector Spinae Muscle


A weak erector spinae, and therefore a weak back, can cause low back pain and could lead to slouching and bad posture. Doing Back Extensions will help strengthen it and help prevent bad posture.

Levator Scapulae

The Levator Scapulae elevates the scapula and anchorsit in place. Most upper body exercises that involve the stabilization of the scapula would strengthen this muscle. This muscle can also be stretched to prevent tightness. This can be done by tilting the head and one side and holding and then repeating on the other side.


Pectoralis Major

The pectoralis major functions to pull the arms across the body. A tight pectoralis major will pull the shoulders forward (protracting), in turn, causing rounding of the upper back (kyphosis). A few exercises that target the pectoralis major include: pec fly, chest press, and push-ups.


Upper Trapezius

The upper trapezius functions to elevate the scapula, shoulder, and clavicle. Having a strong upper trapezius helps pull the shoulders back, giving you good posture.

Upright rows and dumbbell shrugs will strengthen this muscle.


Rectus Abdominis

The rectus abdominis aids in flexing the trunk and secondarily aids as a hip flexor. A weak core is bad for posture because it causes the shoulders to roll inward and the body to slouch. Sit-ups, crunches, bicycles, and planks are some exercises to strengthen this muscle.



The rhomboids bring the shoulder blades together, as well as, bring them downward. This keeps your shoulders back and allows for better posture. The best exercise to strengthen the rhomboids is rows.


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