If you spend your days at a desk toiling away in front of a computer, it’s hard to fight the slouch. Your upper back and shoulders are particularly at risk as a result of this sedentary lifestyle, so they’re probably in need of a tune-up.
To spark some life back into your shoulders, trainer Charlee Atkins, C.S.C.S., suggests starting with a simple, body-weight exercise she calls back widows. You’re not at risk of a deadly bite here, no matter what the name suggests — just bulletproof shoulders and better posture.
“Back widows target the rear delts, the traps, and a little bit of the lats, forcing you to isolate the back of your body to push the chest up,” says Atkins. “If you don’t do it for the strength gains, at least do it for the chest opener.”
An added bonus: Atkins says the exercise will also work your core as you support your posture through the movement — if your form is on point, that is.
To perform the back widow, all you need is some space on the ground, a smooth surface, and something for your elbows like sliders or even just towels.
- Lay flat on the ground with your knees bent and your elbows on the sliders.
- Bend the elbows and put them at roughly 45-degree angles.
- Engage your core, then drive your elbows straight down into the ground to lift your chest up.
- Pull your shoulder blades toward each other, keeping your chest open.
- Separate your shoulder blades to lower yourself back down.
If you’re just using back widows to stay loose after a long day at the office, perform 1 set of 15 reps. If you want to include the move into your back and shoulders workout splits, try 3 sets of 12 reps to start.
You might not be able to break free of your desk completely — but if you take the right steps to bulletproof your back, your day job won’t be as much of a drag.
This Article Originally Appeared On Men’s Health US