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Here are 3 exercises that I have been doing over the past year that have helped strengthen my lower back and mid to lower traps. Mid to lower traps are often neglected back muscles that affect your posture. If working those muscles are left out of your routine, it doesn’t matter how much you work the rest of your back out, you may not be able to get over forward rounded shoulders, (bad posture). Check it out. They have done wonders for me!!


1. Lay on your stomach/chest with your feet slightly off the ground. Try to not to extend at your lower back too much. There are 4 different motions you’re going to do with your arms, each motion doing 10 reps. Imagine they are letters. First motion T, second H, third I, fourth 0. T,H,I,0. That helped me remember. Keep your shoulders back and don’t let your elbows or hands touch the ground. It doesn’t look like much but trust me, it works.

2. With a bench inclined at about 45 degrees or a little less, stand with your stomach pressed up against it. Have your chest just over the top of the bench. Keep your shoulders back, do not shrug. With 2.5 to 5-pound dumbbells start with your hands together, arms straight and raise the dumbbells up as far back as you can in a V motion. Keep a big chest with your shoulders back without extending at your lower back too much. Fight to keep your arms straight and not to shrug.

3. This exercise is done with a very light band. Find somewhere to attach the band at shoulder height. With your arms as straight as you can, spread your arms apart at shoulder height and as far back as you can. Do not extend at your lower back. Once your arms are as far back as you can get them, raise them over your head, then back down level with your shoulders, then back where you started with your hands together. Repeat this 10 times then move on to the second part of this exercise. Start with your hands together. Bring your arms back, elbows leveled with your shoulders. From your wrist to your elbow, to your shoulder your arm should be at a 90-degree angle. Wrist lined up above your elbow, elbow lined up with your shoulder. Then raise your arms up as straight and far back as you can. Then lower them in front of your body. In this part of the exercise, fight to keep your elbows level with your shoulder in that initial pull. People struggle with that.

These exercises have worked for me and the many clients I work with. To hear what they have to say check out my yelp or google reviews.



Evan Zener

Fit-InMotion Personal Training 

Northeast Portland OR, 97212

(971) 285-0847 – [email protected]