When it comes to scoring the girl of your dreams, a charming personality can only go so far. Your posture and physique can go a long way to complete the look. Whether you are sporting a wiry frame or bound with muscle, both can be ruined by bad posture. With the typical schedule involving multiple hours spent behind the wheel and in front of a computer, our shoulders get pulled forward and create a hunched upper body. Combine that with some extremely tight hips, and you have a recipe for disaster.
The Clock Test for Bad Posture
To see just how bent out of shape your upper body really is, hold a pen in your right hand and drop your arms down to your sides. See where the pen is pointing. If it’s pointing to either 11 or 12 o’clock, you’re doing okay (12 would be straight ahead). If it’s pointing to 10 o’clock or earlier, your shoulders are too internally rotated (meaning rounded forward). You have some work to do. The same test can be repeated on your left side using 1, 2, and 3 o’clock for markers.
The Fix: Balance Your Program
The typical program is centered around the exercises that build the mirror muscles: chest, biceps, and abs. Unfortunately, all of these exercises also round the shoulders forward. To fix the problem, rearrange your workouts by prioritizing exercises that pull your shoulders back into place like row variations. Always look to have more pulling exercises than pushing ones. In fact, most guys should shoot for a 2:1 ratio of pulling to pushing exercises to build better posture and avoid slumped shoulders.
Along with strengthening the right muscles, direct your attention to stretching the tight muscles and including soft tissue work to help relieve tightness and open up your chest. Use a foam roller to work on your lats and shoulders while also using a lacrosse ball or tennis ball to lengthen your chest. These tools should be combined with frequent stretching and a properly structured training program for best results.