When many people hit the gym to do some back work, the staple is often a version of a lat pull down or pull up. While these are great exercises for building muscle they also lead to bad posture if used exclusively. The reason for this is that these movement internally rotate the lat muscle thereby causing forward rolled shoulders and ultimately shoulder and neck problems.
My solution for this is to follow every set of a vertical pulling motion like the pull down or pull up with a horizontal pull or row. This will force you to use scapular retraction which will in turn strengthen your upper back and correct the internal lat rotation.
My favourite examples are band pull aparts, band face pulls, inverted rows or chest supported DB rows.
An example of a set would be:
6-8 reps of wide grip lat pull down supersetted with
10 band pull aparts.
Not only will your upper body feel better, you will look better and be stronger from all the extra upper back work.
One of my training gurus Joe Defranco has turned me into believer in proper upper back training and I couldn’t agree more.