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Foam Roller: Upper Back Relief

A lot of people suffer from tightness in their upper back and shoulders.  Sometimes it feels like knots between your shoulder blades, while other times the pain might feel like it’s spreading from your upper back into your neck. The main cause of upper back and neck pain is a sedentary lifestyle, and extended use of computers, phones, and tablets. Upper back pain also easily leads to neck pain.

The key to foam rolling your upper body is actually to not roll much at all. Instead, use the roller to isolate smaller areas and allow them to release slowly from the pressure of your body’s weight on the roller.

If you need a reminder, read the general instructions on how to foam rolling, here.


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Lying Lateral Shoulder Raise

This is an incredible exercise for working the lateral deltoids. If you have back problems this is ideal because your spine is straight and relaxed.

Anchor your band to the door at your knee height. Grab a handle in each hand and lie on your back, away from the door. Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor. Keep your spine straight and your head aligned.

Exhale as you contract your deltoids and move your arms horizontally until your elbows are in line with your shoulders.

Inhale and slowly return to the starting position. Repeat.


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Resistance bands rear deltoid row

This exercise targets the rear shoulder. You want to do this exercise to keep your shoulders balanced.

Anchor your band at the bottom of the door. Grab a handle in each hand, keeping your back straight and knees bent. Your arms should be extended.

Exhale and pull the band towards your chest bringing your elbows out and holding them on for a few seconds squeezing tightly.

Inhale as you go back to the starting position. Repeat.

 


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Standing dumbbell front raise

This is a classic shoulder exercise. It focuses on the anterior head of the deltoid.

Stand holding dumbbells lightly touching thighs and palms facing your thighs. Your elbows should be straight or slightly bent. Your feet slightly wider than hip distance. Contract your abs, bracing your torso and pull your shoulder blades down and back. Do not allow the back to arch. Your head should be aligned with your spine.

Exhale and slowly raise the dumbbells up in front of your body. Your elbows and upper arms should rise together and lead the movement ahead of the forearms and dumbbells. Raise the dumbbells until your arms are level with your shoulders, parallel with the floor. Do not allow the back to arch. Keep the wrists in neutral, do not allow them to bend.

Inhale and gently lower the dumbbells back to your starting position in a controlled manner. Keep your elbows straight and neutral grip position.


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Dumbbell Reverse Fly

Reverse dumbbell flyes strengthen the posterior shoulder and upper back. Strength and development in the rear shoulders and thoracic spinal muscles improve upper body posture, function, and movement.

Hold a dumbbell in each hand with palms facing your body, and your knees slightly bent. Keeping your back flat, bend forward at the hip joint.

Exhale and slowly raise the dumbbells up, forward and out to the sides until your arms are almost level with the shoulders, maintaining a slight bend in the elbows and squeezing your shoulder blades together.

Inhale and slowly lower the dumbbells back to your starting position. Repeat.


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