Keeping your shoulders back and down is not only the best way to improve your posture, doing so keeps your body and shoulders in a structurally sound position to move big weight in movements like bent rows, bench presses and overhead presses. The simple drill above will help teach you greater awareness of your shoulder position and what it feels like when you’re locked in.

Keep your shoulder blades pulled back and tucked down, as if you’re trying to point the bottom of your scapula at the floor. This also lifts your chest and helps improve posture. Harold Gibbons, a personal trainer based in New York, shares a simple-yet-awesome drill that he calls the “shoulder reach and roll.” He says:

The reach and roll shines a spotlight on those scapulae, illuminating an area of the body often left in the dark. The shoulder blade is an interesting bone, with 17 muscles working to control its movement. Rather than focus on the role of each of these, this drill drives us towards how they work together. The benefit from it is that we learn how to drive our shoulder blades up and apart. When this proceeds a set of push-ups or rows, we’re better prepared to create that movement down and back.

Once you learn to tuck your shoulders properly you don’t need to lock your shoulders in place all the time, just when you’re about to PR.

This Will Make You Better: Shoulder Reach & Roll | Harold Gibbons