Weekend Challenge: Strengthening Posture Improver
This weekend’s low-impact move combines weight lifting and stretching. As its name denotes, the Strengthening Posture Improver opens up the rib cage and tones back muscles to help maintain good posture. It also strengthens the legs and arms.
Let’s get started!
One of the key elements of good posture is to maintain correct shoulder positioning. With the Strengthening Posture Improver, you’ll be engaging in shoulder flexion, which simply means reaching over your head. This motion uses several muscle groups involved in posture, such as:
These muscles make up the rounded tops of the shoulders. Two of the deltoids’ three “heads” are used in an overhead reach: the anterior (front) and lateral (middle) heads.
Located on the front of the chest, the triangular “pecs” attach to the clavicle (collarbone) and the humerus (upper arm bone). The pecs contract to raise your arms.
Most people are familiar with this prominent muscle group that gives a curved shape to the upper arms when flexed. In conjunction with the coracobrachialis muscle in the arms, the biceps contract when you raise your arms over your head. The stronger the biceps, the less tiring repetitive arm-raising will be.
The weight-lifting curls included in this exercise strengthen the biceps.
Your legs get a workout, too – you’ll be doing heel lifts, which tone the lower leg muscles. In particular, the two muscles of your calves – the gastrocnemius and the soleus – are used in this motion. Toning up the calves is an excellent way to improve balance and increase the bone strength of the lower leg bones, the tibia and fibula.
You’ll need two hand-held weights for this exercise, such as a couple of water bottles or dumbbells.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold a weight in each hand.
- Turn your palms so they are facing forward; bring the weights up by bending your elbows (this is a basic biceps curl).
- Now bring your arms up over your head, turning your palms to face outward as you do.
- Keeping your arms up over your head, raise your heels off the ground (go up on your toes).
- Bring your heels and hands back down, turning your palms so they are facing frontward again.
- Repeat the curl, reach, and heel lift (steps 2-5) for one minute (if you are able).
You can follow up this weekend’s exercise with one or all of the following challenges:
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Have a great weekend!