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Can Exercise Help with a Back Hump?

author image Paula Quinene
Paula Quinene is an Expert/Talent, Writer and Content Evaluator for Demand Media, with more than 1,500 articles published primarily in health, fitness and nutrition. She has been an avid weight trainer and runner since 1988. She has worked in the fitness industry since 1990. She graduated with a Bachelor's in exercise science from the University of Oregon and continues to train clients as an ACSM-Certified Health Fitness Specialist.
Can Exercise Help with a Back Hump?
Build strong back muscles to prevent a back hump by doing pulldown and rowing exercises.

A hump will form on your back due to weak back muscles, weak spinal bones and constantly crouching forward. Strengthen the muscles of your back to pull your shoulder blades together, opening your chest and preventing the humped-back condition. Paul Chek of the Corrective High-Performance Exercise Kinesiology Institute encourages you to reduce your humped-back appearance as a means of improving your overall body posture and decreasing your risks of neck and shoulder pain, lower back injuries and leg injuries.

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Seated Cable Rows

Seated cable rows completely engage all your back muscles responsible for drawing your shoulder blades together and opening your chest including your rhomboids, trapezius and latissimus dorsi muscles. Set the weight of a seated-row machine to a moderate intensity. Sit on the machine and ensure the handles are at chest level, adjusting the height of the seat if necessary. Grab both handles and pull them toward you squeezing your shoulder blades together. Straighten your arms to the start position and pull back again. Repeat for 12 to 15 repetitions. The American College of Sports Medicine advises you must use progressively heavier weights to increase your muscular strength and your muscular endurance. Gradually increasing the weight you use for your back exercises will slowly help to reduce a humped back.

Seated One-Arm Lateral Pull Downs

One-arm lateral pull downs enable you to improve the strength and endurance of your lats. Your lats function to pull your arm bone and shoulder blades downward and toward the center of your back, opening up your chest. Using a one-arm lat bar instead of a regular lat bar enables you to pull the bar down with your upper body in a totally vertical position. Grasp the one-arm handle attached to the lateral pull-down machine, then sit down with your torso completely upright. Perform a one-arm lateral pull down by pulling the handle downward, squeezing your shoulder blade toward your spine. Your elbow should be tucked toward your rib cage and your palm at shoulder level.

Standing One-Arm Rows

Standing one-arm rows work your back muscles in a slightly horizontal direction compared to the completely vertical direction of regular lateral pull downs. This position more fully engages your rhomboids and your traps. You can do a one-arm row by holding the handle in your right hand and stepping two feet away from the machine. Place your left foot against the seat cushion with both knees slightly bent. Then, tighten your core to prevent trunk rotation as you pull the handle toward you and squeeze your right shoulder blade toward the middle of your back.

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