Do It Better – Week 1 Day 4

Today is time to pay attention to your shoulders and traps with these exercises:

Lateral raise

The lateral raise is the best exercise to work the lateral head of your deltoids and increases shoulder mobility. It´s a simple movement, but it´s also a hard exercise. What seems incredibly easy on rep one is absolute murder by rep eight, so pick your weight wisely. Studies have shown bands work just as well as dumbbells for this exercise, maybe better. Performing the lateral raise with a band stresses the muscle more in the mid-range, where it’s most active. It also means you can spend more time pushing against the peak contraction with the greatest load rather than being pulled back through the eccentric (lowering) portion with a dumbbell.

  1. Starting position: Grab a resistance band and hold one end in each hand. Next, step on the middle of the band with feet about hip-width apart. Stand tall, engage your abs, with chest out and back straight. Arms at your sides.
  2. Exhale and raise your arms straight out from your sides until they are in line with your shoulders (parallel to the ground). Raise leading with your elbows, so that they’re the highest part of your arm. Ensuring your elbows lead the move will again keep the focus on your delts and minimize the stress placed on your rotator cuffs, a small group of delicate but crucial stabilizing muscles
  3. Inhale as you slowly lower your arms back down to the starting position.

Shrugs

Shoulder shrugs are a popular and easy choice of exercise for strengthening your trapezius muscles. The trapezius muscles are a triangular-shaped band of tissue located in your back on either side of your neck. The muscles run from the back of your neck and along your spine, reaching the rib cage base. They control the movement of your shoulder blades as well as your upper back and neck. Having strong trapezius or “trap” muscles is important for pulling the upper spine and shoulders into alignment, therefore improving posture and reducing neck/shoulder pain. If you have a desk job, you likely spend a big part of your day with your neck pitched forward, your shoulders slumped, and your eyes focused on a screen in front of you. Over time, this posture can take quite a toll on your neck and shoulder muscles. When these muscles are strengthened through exercise, you will have an easier time maintaining proper posture. A strong trapezius pulls your shoulders back and helps stabilize your neck and upper back.

  1. Starting position: Grab a resistance band and hold one end in each hand. Next, step on the middle of the band with feet about hip-width apart. Stand tall, engage your abs, with chest out and back straight. Arms at your sides.
  2. Exhale and Pull your shoulders up toward your ears as high as you can. Hold the contraction a few seconds at the top.
  3. Inhale as you slowly lower your arms back to the starting position.

Tips to get the most out of this workout

  1. Read the instructions on how to do the exercises. If you skipped it, scroll up. It´s important to keep the technique in mind to perform the exercises correctly.
  2. Watch the first two sets before you start and visualize yourself performing the exercises.
  3. Grab the equipment you need (step), put it in position, and keep close your bottle of water.
  4. Mute your phone. Next 10 minutes you´ll be unavailable.
  5. We aim for a total of 10 sets (5 sets each exercise), with no rest in between. However, if you need to rest, press pause and take your time.
  6. Each set is 1 minute long. If it´s too much for you right now, do as many repetitions as possible.

Are you ready? Here we go!

Good!! Get ready to finish the week strong tomorrow.

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Rest 30 seconds

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Lower Back

The Erector Spinae is not just one muscle, but a bundle of muscles and tendons. Paired, they run more or less vertically. It extends throughout the lumbar, thoracic and cervical regions, and lies in the groove to the side of the vertebral column.

Latissimus Dorsi

The latissimus dorsi is the larger, flat, dorsolateral muscle on the trunk, posterior to the arm, and partly covered by the trapezius on its median dorsal region.

Deltoids

The Deltoid muscle is the muscle forming the rounded contour of the shoulder. It is divided into three portions, anterior, lateral and posterior, with the fibers having different roles due to their orientation.

Infraspinatus

The Infraspinatus muscle is one of the four rotator cuff muscles crossing the shoulder joint and is commonly injured. It is the main external rotator of the shoulder joint.

Biceps

The Biceps brachii is  actually two separate bundles of muscles (heads). The two heads of the Biceps vary in length and as a result, are called the Short and the Long Biceps heads.

Triceps

The Triceps Brachii muscles  have three muscle heads: Lateral, Medial and Long head. Primarily responsible for the extension of the elbow joint. The lateral head is used for movements requiring occasional high-intensity force, while the medial fascicle enables more precise, low-force movements.

Forearm
(Anterior muscles)

The Pronator teres pronates the forearm, turning the hand posteriorly. If the elbow is flexed to a right angle, then pronator teres will turn the hand so that the palm faces inferiorly. It is assisted in this action by pronator quadratus.

Forearm
(Posterior muscles)

The Extensor Digitorum muscle helps in the movements of the wrists and the elbows. It extends the phalanges, then the wrist, and finally the elbow. It acts principally on the proximal phalanges. It tends to separate the fingers as it extends them.

Pecs

The pectoralis major makes up the bulk of the chest muscles in the male and lies under the breast in the female.

The pectoralis minor is a thin, triangular muscle, situated at the upper part of the chest, beneath the pectoralis major. 

Abs

The Rectus Abdominis is the most superficial of the abdominal muscles. It is this muscle which forms the six-pack shape! It is a paired muscle running vertically on each side of the anterior wall of the abdomen. There are two parallel muscles, separated by a midline band of connective tissue called the linea alba.

Obliques

The External Oblique is situated on the lateral and anterior parts of the abdomen. It is broad, thin, and irregularly quadrilateral. It is the largest and the most superficial (outermost) of the three flat muscles of the lateral anterior abdomen. 

Glutes

The gluteal muscles are a group of three muscles which make up the buttocks: the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus. The three muscles originate from the ilium and sacrum and insert on the femur. The functions of the muscles include extension, abduction, external rotation, and internal rotation of the hip joint.

Rest 40 seconds

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Quadriceps

The Quadriceps Femoris is the knee extensor muscle.  As a group, the quadriceps femoris is crucial in walking, running, jumping and squatting. It´s subdivided into four separate “heads”.

Hamstrings

A hamstring is any one of the three posterior thigh muscles in between the hip and the knee (from medial to lateral: semimembranosus, semitendinosus and biceps femoris). The hamstrings are quite susceptible to injury.

Lower Leg

The gastrocnemius and the soleus form what we know as calf. They are involved in activities such as walking, running, jumping… 

Rest 120 seconds

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Rest 90 seconds

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Rest 60 seconds

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Trapezius

The trapezius is a broad, flat and triangular muscle. The muscles on each side form a trapezoid shape. It is the most superficial of all the back muscles.

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