I know you’ll want to get started right away with this weekend’s challenge, because it prevents the Dowager’s Hump (kyphosis) and collapsed vertebrae.
Both conditions are considered by the Medical Establishment to be inevitable aspects of aging, but that’s just not true.
In fact, the The Hump And Collapsed Vertebrae Preventer is just one of many ways you can overcome the effects of age on your bones, achieve a more youthful posture and prevent the pain associated with collapsed vertebrae.
When I tried this weekend's exercise, I was surprised at how challenging this seemingly simple move turned out to be!
Why: This exercise works key muscle groups in the upper back to strengthen and support the thoracic vertebrae. Strong, toned muscles keep your vertebrae in alignment, thereby allowing the “good stress” of muscle and gravity on bone to build mineral density.
Specifically, this week’s challenge works the trapezius, latissimus dorsi, rhomboid, and teres major muscles.
The trapezius muscles are the ones that run across the tops of your shoulders. When we ask for someone to “rub our shoulders,” the “traps” get the most attention. But these muscles also spread out over your upper back, attaching on either side of the thoracic vertebrae. Strong, supple traps are essential for flattening the upper back and preventing a hump.
You use your latissimus dorsi whenever you bend, raise and rotate your arms, or even sit upright. This week’s exercise actively works the top part of this large muscle group. The bottom part of the lats attach to the sacral vertebrae, making this an essential muscle for sitting upright and maintaining good posture.
The rhomboid is targeted in the The Hump And Collapsed Vertebrae Preventer. It is a rather small muscle that connects the scapula to the vertebrae, and it’s vitally important in avoiding kyphosis. It’s one of the main muscles you use when you “pull your shoulders back,” and you’ll see below how it’s used in this week’s challenge.
On the outside of the shoulder down to the scapula, you’ll find the teres major. This is another muscle that holds the shoulder blades in the right position for correct posture.
How: A light weight or dumbbell is needed for this exercise. A can of food will work fine, too – whatever feels moderately challenging and comfortable for you.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Pick up the weight and bend your elbow at a 90º angle. Your upper arm will be against your body and your lower arm will be pointing forward, parallel to the floor. Your thumb should be facing up as you grasp the weight.
- Without changing the angle of your arm, bring the weight back so your lower arm is now facing out sideways.
- Bring the weight back to the starting position.
- Repeat 8 times, or as many times as you comfortably can.
- Switch sides for another 8 reps on the other side.
- You can increase the number of repetitions if you want.
Always stand tall!
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