How Upper Back Strengthening Exercises Improve Your Hunched Posture 

Upper back strengthening exercises are a key to fixing a hunched upper back (a thoracic kyphosis).

Apart from being unsightly, a hunched upper back puts your head in front of your centre of gravity.  As a result, the weight of your head increases from 5-6kg to about 40kg.

No wonder you have pain across the shoulders. Imagine carrying a sack of potatoes around your neck every day!  It's having the same effect. 

What You Can Do About Symptoms of Kyphosis

In the brief YouTube video below, Sarah Key demonstrates exactly what's happening and the impact on your health.  It's only a few minutes long and easy to follow.

Why you May Be Getting pain in the upper back

Your head position makes the long erector spinae muscles work overtime like horses reins around the convexity of your hunch, trying to pull your head back. The same overactivity painfully compresses the spinal segments through your middle back and squeezes fluid from the discs. 

How to tell if you have thoracic kyphosis - a hunched upper back


  • You look round-shouldered
  • The head is thrust forward 
  • Neck pain and stiffness is common
  • Under the back of the skull feels permanently sore
  • The cervical facets joints feel like painful knobs in the sides of the neck
  • Headaches are common
  • Your chest is stiff and barrel-like
  • The rib-to-spine junctions are stiff
  • Breathing is poor (mouth breathing)

How upper back strengthening exercises will help

Self Treatment at Home Every day is the Way to Go

The bottom line is you need to get your thoracic spine straighter.  You can do this at home and there are two things you need.

  1. The BackBlock.  This will have a key role in any exercises.  It is remarkably cheap and easy to use.

  2. This comprehensive video on upper back strengthening exercises.  In it Sarah shows you:


  • How to both straighten and strengthen the upper back.
  • How to alleviate upper back pain.
  • How to fix an unsightly round-shouldered or hunched back. 
  • Inherited postures and working postures.
  • What constitutes normal posture.
  • How work postures and relentless computer use strains the upper back .
  • How the head carried in front of the line of gravity become much heavier.
  • How sitting makes the lower abdominal muscles weak.
  • How weak shoulder blade muscles and tight shoulders restrict straightening.
  • Exercises to strengthen must come after exercises to straighten the upper back.
  • How strengthening works from the pelvic floor up.
  • The good and the bad abdominal 'core' strengthening exercises.
  • The 2 important exercises to straighten the upper back.
  • The 4 best exercises to strengthen the upper back.

You can read more about this video here or go to Sarah's Back Pain Online Store to download. This provides all you need to do your own self-treatment at home.

Return to Back Pain Exercises

Home page

See more about Exercises for Posture

» » Improving Hunched Posture

Choose from Sarah's videos and books

You can choose from many different videos and packages here.

Sketch of man holding lower back in pain with product relief information using exercise

Order your book and BackBlock packages from the Online Store

We recommend you buy individual books from Amazon. Please choose your selection below.