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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