Exercises for Back Muscle Imbalances

A physiotherapist from the mid-20th century, Dr. Vladimir Janda discovered both the upper and lower-crossed syndromes. The upper-crossed syndrome is a muscle imbalance in which the upper back is weak and the chest is too tight, pulling the shoulders and head forwards. The lower-crossed syndrome occurs because the lower back muscles are too tight and the abdominals are too weak.

Lower-Crossed Syndrome

To correct the imbalance between the lower back muscles and the abdominals you should focus on a couple exercises that isolate and strengthen the abs.

Upper Back Weakness

Your upper back muscles tend to get long and loose and need to be specifically targeted by rowing motions, where you pull weight towards you. The key in these movements is to pull your shoulder blades back and together, sticking your chest out. That small movement makes the upper back muscles work the hardest.

Left vs. Right Imbalance

Many people favor one side during day-to-day activities which can make one side of your back stronger than the other. To balance things out, try doing these exercises that let you work one side of your back at a time.


Copyright © 2018 Leaf Group Ltd. Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of the LIVESTRONG.COM Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Copyright Policy. The material appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM is for educational use only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. LIVESTRONG is a registered trademark of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. The LIVESTRONG Foundation and LIVESTRONG.COM do not endorse any of the products or services that are advertised on the web site. Moreover, we do not select every advertiser or advertisement that appears on the web site-many of the advertisements are served by third party advertising companies.