Weekend Challenge: The Shoulder Positioner - Save Our Bones

This weekend, I bring you an exercise that eliminates rounded shoulders to improve posture and prevent or correct the Dowager’s Hump.

The Shoulder Positioner also works the core muscles and hamstrings, opens up the hips and expands the rib cage. All of these areas of the body work together to bring about youthful posture and strong bones.

You’ll soon notice that as you strengthen those muscles, they will effectively (and effortlessly) hold your skeleton in the proper alignment and allow for flexibility and increased motion. And of course, your bones respond to muscle pressure with increased growth and density (as per Wolff’s Law).

And there’s more good news: today you’ll discover the latest research on how a positive self-image, such as that generated by regular exercise, can actually lengthen your life.


“Teaching” your shoulders how to move in such a way as to flatten the upper back promotes muscle memory that will help hold your shoulders in the correct position through the day. As your shoulder muscles get stronger, it will become progressively easier for you to hold the correct posture and prevent your shoulders from slumping. The latter certainly contributes to the rounded back and forward shoulder (and often neck) posture typical of kyphosis or the Dowager’s Hump.

Today’s exercise does more than ensuring your shoulders are held back. You see, the position of the hips and back during this exercise has an “opening” effect on the pelvis, and expands the ribcage.

A typical kyphotic posture always causes the ribs to get compressed as the torso slumps forward, and the pelvis to tilt as the spine rounds out. As you’ll see in the description below, The Shoulder Positioner puts the spine and ribs in precisely the opposite position, opening up the front of the torso.


You will need a Yoga mat or carpeted floor for this exercise, as well as two small weights. If you do not have dumbbells, feel free to use two cans of soup.

  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent.
  2. Raise your hips into a bridge position. There should be a straight line between your knees and shoulders.
  3. Raise the weights up over your chest, arms straight and hands (holding weights) together.
  4. Slowly open up your arms and bring them down about 8 inches off the floor.
  5. Bring your arms back up to the starting position.
  6. Repeat 10-15 times, or as many times as you comfortably can.


  • Keep your feet flat on the floor throughout the exercise.
  • Move your arms out and down slowly.
  • Work up to heavier weights once this exercise becomes too easy.

Combine The Shoulder Positioner With Another Upper Back And Shoulder Exercise

I like to combine this exercise with another Weekend Challenge, The Forward Shoulder Corrector. This is one of my favorites! Like all exercise, these moves give me more energy and promote good posture. This makes me both feel and look younger.

It turns out that feeling younger than your age is actually linked to your physical health and longevity, according to the latest research.

Study Shows How Feeling Young Keeps You Healthier And Extends Life

Have you ever heard the saying, “You’re only as young as you feel”? This adage has stuck around because there is truth to it.
In fact, a just-published study reveals the fascinating connection between how young you feel and how long a life you could live. Out of 6,500 study participants, those who claimed to feel younger than their actual age actually lived longer.1

How encouraging! And it’s further proof that your state of mind affects your bone health and overall well-being.

Exercise Makes You Feel Younger

Earlier, I noted how exercise makes me feel younger. And that makes sense… It’s an exhilarating feeling to know that we can still work out and build muscle, bone, and flexibility even when the calendar says we’re “older.”

Densercise™ Is The Perfect Way To Recapture That Youthful Feeling!

Based on the study, this young feeling ties in to living a longer, healthier life. And there’s even more good news: research clearly shows that regular exercise actually makes your skin look younger.

The list of benefits from exercise just keeps getting longer and longer!

If you don’t have it yet, it’s time to turn back the clock with the Densercise™ Epidensity Training System. This revolutionary exercise program goes beyond (“epi”) building bone density, so when you “densercise,” you are reaping all the multi-faceted benefits of exercise…including feeling younger.

Please check it out today, and enjoy feeling that youthful energy once again.

Have a great weekend!


1 Rippon, Isla, MSc and Steotoe, Andrew, DSc. “Feeling Old vs Being Old: Associations Between Self-perceived Age and Mortality.” JAMA Internal Medicine. December 15, 2014. Web. https://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=2020288

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Comments on this article are closed.

  1. prince Dr David H M J Mawanda

    In fact it is very important to save people’s bones because 65% our bones are in danger osteoporosis is one of the major causes of bone disease but this in most cases come as a result of kidney dysfunction.
    Thank you for save the bone crusade.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      You are most welcome, and I absolutely agree that kidney function is vital for healthy bones. Many articles on this site address this very issue – I invite you to search the the site for pertinent articles. 🙂

  2. Teresa ochoa

    Thanks Vivian for this exercise, to help with the back and shoulders. Is the densexercise, come in DVD ready to buy it, but not in the computer download, if not a book is ok too.
    I am developing, some pain that come and go, in my arms, and around my shoulders, hand I will be checking with my doctor, if this is artritis or the osteopenia. Hope not!
    I love to read ur newsletters.

    • Customer Support

      Hi Teresa,
      Densercise is delivered digitally as downloadable PDF files, and the videos are viewed online. 🙂

  3. Kathleen

    This is a pec flye, done by weight trainers for more than 40 years for the chest.

    Performed in this bridge position, the glutes/hamstrings/low back are also worked.

    “Shoulder positioner.” What a name.

  4. Marlene Wilson

    Since you didn’t answer yesterday’s post I will try again.
    Is this weekend challenge good for my hip pain?

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Hi Marlene,
      I am sorry you are experiencing hip pain!

      Weekend Challenges are exercise information intended for the general public, so they can not take the place of advice from a doctor or physical therapist who is familiar with your particular situation. Whether or not an exercise is right for any one individual is not something I can determine, but you can certainly ask your therapist about this particular move and see what he or she says. 🙂

  5. Elle

    Great exercise. Just bought 6 lb weights after using 5 for over a year and amazed how heavy the 6 lb weights feel when exercising. Thinking about the weights slamming into my face! I’ll go SLOW

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Be careful, Elle!

  6. Doug

    Have you quoted the study in the 2013 JAMA Pediatrics saying that children who live in countries that drink less milk actually have less fractures and they think exercise is more important for strong bones? You probably have.

  7. Louann

    I am enjoying your exercises however just looking at the image, it looks like the upper back is rounded exactly where the Dowager hump would be. I have a T7 mild compression fracture which eventually could become that DH. Unsure about doing this one!

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Louann, the shoulders lie flat on the floor in this exercise. 🙂

      • Carolyn Bame

        I need a printed version of the densercises; e-book doesn’t work for me. I don’t do much on computer — it’s my husband’s and I interfere with his work when I use it. Any possibility of a printed version?

  8. Marlene Wilson

    Hello Vivian,
    I have recently developed a problem with this constant
    aching in my hips and also knee pain.
    Do you know if it is caused by osteoarthritis or if my osteoporosis is getting worse and do you have any exercises to target these areas?

    • Louann

      Your pain may be an indication of pelvic misalignment (as is true for most of us because we lost our primal posture). This life saving book may be your answer and it was mine!
      “8-steps to a pain-free back” learn more at http://www.gokhalemethod.com
      Blessings! Louann

  9. Marlene Karpa

    Vivian I am so grateful for this excellent web site. You and I experienced the same diagnosis and I rejected the R/x because of side effects and adapted to exercise/healthy food choices. I am amazed at my strength. Bravo ! You are making BIG difference in peoples lives by sharing your wisdom. MK

  10. lu weiss

    does the excercise progrm come in a separate dvd or only in a paper manual. i do better doing it with a dvd.

  11. Nanny

    Is this exercise recommended for someone who has had vertebra repairs on their back or who has had cracked ribs?

    My suggestion would be to include a statement as to who can safely do these exercises

  12. Michele

    Thank you for sharing this great information.

  13. Marlene Villar

    Good morning Vivian,
    This is an excellent exercise but, I will wait until I fully
    recover from my recent surgery on my right arm elbow.
    Thank you very much for sharing. Have a wonderful
    day. Take care always. Marlene

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Sounds like a good idea, Marlene! I wish you a speedy recovery for your elbow.

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