Crossfit is a very popular workout regimen these days, and I have nothing against it—it’s gotten a lot of people in amazing shape. However, from what I know, it’s also gotten a lot of people injured. This may be due to the inexperience of its newer participants, but these exercises I’m about to show you are ones you can do at the gym or at home, and they will help increase your strength and improve your posterior chain.

By “posterior chain,” I mean the backside of your body—your shoulders, upper back, etc. The issue with Crossfit is it’s anterior-dominant, meaning it focuses on the front side of your body. Focusing on the backside of your body will improve your workout form and your everyday posture. It will also help you avoid slouching.

The first exercise starts at 1:48 in the video above, and it involves using only an exercise band. Hold the band at each end with your arms turned upward and your thumbs pointing in opposite directions. From there, you’ll stretch the band against your chest, hold that position for a second, and then let it compress again. This will strengthen your rear shoulders and your middle back and open up your chest. With this exercise, I typically do three or four sets of 15 reps.

The second exercise starts at 2:40. This one involves a bench set at an upward 45-degree angle and some dumbbells, but I’ll demonstrate without any dumbbells. First, lie facedown on the bench with your arms slack. From there you’ll pull your shoulders back, then drive your elbows back toward your hips, hold that position for a second, and let them go back down. Make sure your shoulders star this movement. I typically do about the same number of reps and sets with this exercise as I do with the first one.

As always, if you have any questions about these exercises or there’s anything else fitness-related I can help you with, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’d be glad to help you.

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