Fitness Tips

This Beginner Dumbbell Move Unlocks Years of Tension in Your Shoulders and Back

Zoe Weiner

If you spend eight hours a day hunched over a computer, chances are you've started to feel its effects on your upper body. In addition to causing the obvious back pain, poor posture can also lead to a tightening in your chest, which is why you need to give both areas a little extra TLC as a means of combatting discomfort. For a single exercise that does it all, try the classic bent-over row.

This beginner-friendly move involves standing, bent at the waist, and rowing a set of dumbbells up toward your rib cage. It delivers a one-two punch of opening your chest while also strengthening your back. This will help to make you feel better no matter how many hours you spend in front of a computer or how tense you find your body from doing other forms of exercise that shorten the muscles in the front of your body.

"It's an excellent exercise to work your posture and open up your shoulders and back," says Simone de la Rue, a Pilates teacher and the founder of Body By Simone. In the latest episode of The Right Way, she demonstrates how to do a bent-over row properly so that you're able to reap all of the move's upper-body benefits. Proper form is key, and as with all upper body exercises, you'll want to focus on moving slowly and intentionally while also engaging your core. To find out what else de la Rue wants you to keep in mind as you attempt the move for yourself (and ultimately, give your chest and back some much-needed two-for-one stretching and strengthening), check out the video above.

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