Exercises to strengthen the upper body
by Haydee Ferguson
This exercise is aimed at helping you find and strengthen some of your rotator cuff muscles in your shoulders.
- Start by holding a light resistance band loosely in front of you in both hands with the arms by your sides and elbows bent to 90 degrees.
- Move the hands apart to tension the band. Hold for 2 seconds and then return to starting position.
- Advanced Version – once the hands are apart, extend the elbows and reach the hands away from you without the shoulders lifting. Control the movement as you return your elbows to your sides and bring the hands together.
Here is another exercise to strengthen the upper back muscles. Make sure to keep the chest horizontal with the floor at all times during this exercise.
- Start with your palms on the floor and your forehead on your hands. Keep the neck lengthened and shoulder blades wide. Activate your deep abdominals to make sure that you do not push your stomach out into the mat to create movement.
- Lift the upper back very slightly off the floor then lower down.
- Advanced Version – add a side band slowly to one side after the lift keeping your chest horizontal to the floor. Come back to the middle and repeat on the other side then lower down to the starting position.
- Repeat 6-8 times on each side.
Written by Haydee Ferguson.
Physiotherapist with a dance history spanning more than 25 years.