As a whole, humans have very poor posture. In addition to sitting at a desk, typing on the computer, driving, and many more tasks we complete on a daily basis, we continue to work-out our “mirror muscles” the most. “Mirror muscles” are exactly as it sounds, the muscles you see in the mirror which lie on the front of our body. But does this make much sense??? I guess if developing a good beach body is your only priority and you have no concern for overall neck, shoulder, and spine health, then go for it! Just realize that what we do in the gym is not only to accomplish our goals but to correct and improve any postural deviations such as poor posture, muscular imbalances, etc. Next time you are at the gym take a look around at the forward head posture and rounded shoulders of the person next to you. Then look at the exercises they are doing… Is there an even ratio of pushing to pulling exercises?? In most cases I would say most definitely not. For every chest or shoulder exercise there should be a back exercise. For example, here is a sample upper body workout:
DB Bench Press (horizontal push)
Seated Low Row (horizontal pull)
DB Overhead Press (vertical push)
Pull-Ups (vertical pull)
DB Flys (horizontal push)
X-Pulldown (vertical pull)
So as you can see there is an even ratio of pushing to pulling exercises. Once we do more pushing exercises and we strengthen the anterior musculature without a reciprocal pulling motion, the shoulders round forward and posture declines. Again, if you only care what you look like in the mirror then by all means go for it. For me, I rather do things right to improve posture so my shoulders and thoracic spine stay healthy and injury-free.