Advanced Posture Exercises For Your Rounded Upper Back

By Dr Ken Nakamura+

How to Improve Posture: Toronto Chiropractor

Do you have a rounded upper back (severe kyphosis) like this guy?


Have you already done the posture exercises in “How To Improve Your Posture: 4 Upper Back Exercises“?


If you need a little more help this article teaches you some advanced posture exercises and other hunch-back improving exercises.


So what is this bad posture caused by? Your rounded upper back is sometimes called upper crossed syndrome, or kyphosis by others.


The upper back or the thoracic spine has a natural curve to it. When there is too much of something we use the word “hyper”, like a hyperactive child.  So the correct term is hyperkyphosis. Some people may refer to a hyperkyphotic upper back as hunch back.


The cause of your rounded back is an imbalance of muscles. Your chest muscles are too tight and your back muscles are too weak. 


Last week I showed you how stretch your chest muscles while strengthening the back muscles. We need to add a few more posture exercises to complete the muscles that are being strengthened.


For those of you whose posture is not improving, you need to increase the frequency of the previous exercises in addition to these new exercises to twice a day seven days a week.


You need to strengthen the


  • Middle trapezius and Rhomboids
  • Lower trapezius and Multifidus


Strengthening the  middle back and lower back muscles are needed to help hold your body up in the correct position when you are standing and sitting.


Remember you need endurance not strength. This means the following exercises are held for long periods. Adding weights and doing them quickly won’t help much,


In contrast  if you can hold these exercises for 60 seconds, then adding weights to make the postural exercises harder is helpful.

Intermediate Posture Exercises 

#1 “Y” Exercise For Your Lower Trapezius and multifidus

Posture Exercises: Prone "Y" Exercise Toronto Chiropractor


  • Lay facedown on the floor
  • Bring your arms overhead in a “Y” shape
  • Lift up your arms as high as they will go while keeping your shoulder from going up.


Hold for 10 seconds eventually extending the time to 60 seconds. Make the exercise harder by doing this on a Swiss ball or weights.

#2 “T” Exercises To Strengthen Your Middle Trapezius and Rhomboids

Middle Trap exercise:Toronto Chiropractor


  • Lay facedown on the floor
  • Bring your arms to the side in a “T” shape
  • Lift up your arms as high as they will go while you stop your shoulder from going up toward your head.
  • Hold for 10 seconds eventually extending the time to 60 seconds. Make the exercise harder by doing this on a Swiss ball or weights.

#3 Bruegger exercise

Bruegger exercise-Toronto Chiropractor


  • Sit on the edge of a chair
  • Tuck in your chin
  • Turn your thumbs out and bring your arms behind you
  • Squeeze the shoulder blades together and toward your tail bone.


Remember to keep the arch in your lower back. Form is important.

#4 Advanced Stretch Of The Upper Back Ligaments (thoracic vertebral ligaments)

How to Improve Posture: Foam Roll -Toronto Chiropractor

  • Put a hard foam roll on the floor.
  • Put the roll under the apex of your upper back


Lie on it for 30 seconds and work your way up five minutes


If you do these posture exercises everyday your posture should improve. Send us a picture of your “before” and “after” pictures or leave a comment below.  This Toronto downtown chiropractor sticks with the 4 posture exercises mentioned in the previous article as they do a pretty good job.

Warning About The Posture Exercises


If you have severe osteoporosis or Scheuermann’s disease (juvenile osteochondrosis) that is causing your rounded back (hyperkyphosis), these posture exercises will not straighten your back. If you had Scheuermann’s disease as a child you may benefit by relieving some pains. If your child has Scheuermann’s disease these posture exercises may help decrease the curve although this is not proven in the research so far.


Those of you with severe osteoporosis should not do these posture exercises. With mild to moderate osteoporosis you should be fine as there is no flexion involved with these posture exercises. Still, a bone density scan within the last two years to find out how strong your bones are is recommended.


Tell us what you think in the comments below and like us on Facebook. This Toronto Downtown Chiropractor will answer all questions in the comments section.



Dr Ken Nakamura

Who is Dr. Ken? I’m a father, spouse, chiropractor, and I love what I do! I created Bodi Empowerment to bring you and everyone-else safe and effective methods for self-treatment by basing my articles on research to everything I can. Still many parts will be based on 18 years of experience, seminars, and collaboration with other health experts; which means you will get opinions as well. Sometimes my articles won’t agree with what is currently accepted, but I am not here to please everyone. I’m here to empower you through the knowledge that I give you. Dr. Ken works at Rebalance Sports Medicine in downtown, Toronto.

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