This weekend’s challenge is perfect for Halloween. You’ll actually need a broomstick, and not for Halloween haunting!
Instead, the Upper Back Toner And Stretcher uses a broomstick to improve posture. It stretches the muscles of the upper back and effectively positions your shoulders back to counteract slouching and forward head posture (FHP), which can lead to kyphosis.
Let’s get started!
Your upper back is a fascinating network of muscles and specialized joints that allow for a remarkable range of motion. If these muscles atrophy and grow weak, the spine and shoulders can slip out of alignment over time, which results in a hunchbacked appearance and caved-in chest. Tight upper back and shoulder muscles restrict movement and breathing, and skew skeletal alignment.
Here are some of the key muscles involved in posture which today’s challenge specifically targets:
- The infraspinatus is a rather small muscle group that may sound unfamiliar, but it is very important. It’s a component of the complex rotator cuff, a group of muscles that work together to rotate the shoulder joints. The infraspinatus is made up of three strips, and it lies deep in the upper back between the thoracic vertebrae and the shoulder. It plays a significant role in proper shoulder positioning and rotation.
- The subscapularis muscles are also part of the rotator cuff. These triangular muscles lie beneath the scapulae, or shoulder blades, and work to stabilize the shoulder joints and rotate the head of the humerus (the bone in your upper arm). Strong subscapularis muscles help prevent shoulder dislocation and misalignment.
- The latissimus dorsi likely sound familiar to most of you – they are often referred to as the “lats.” They are actually very large muscles that cover most of the back, fanning out in a kite shape and spreading across the shoulders and under the arms. The lats hold the vertebrae in place, running from the cervical vertebrae in the neck all the way down to the sacral vertebrae. Among their many roles, the lats help raise the arms over the head, as in today’s challenge.
- The trapezius muscles are also fairly well-known. They run along the top of the shoulders, connecting at the neck and spreading out over the shoulder blades. The traps stop where the ribcage stops, connecting to the thoracic vertebrae along the way. They affect the mid-back, and if they are tight, it can cause painful misalignment of the vertebrae and an incorrect arch in the back. Weak traps cause the spine to hunch forward. Toning the traps brings the shoulder blades back and together for proper posture.
- The triceps are the muscles along the back of the arms, and you may be wondering why they are included in a discussion of upper back muscles. The reason is their role in rotating the humerus bone and stabilizing the shoulders, and as you’ll see in a moment, today’s challenge engages the triceps.
In fact, it engages all of the above muscles and more. Here’s how to do it.
The only thing you’ll need for this exercise is a broomstick…but if you don’t have one, a mop, a dowel or even a yard stick will work. Just make sure it’s the approximate length of a broom.
- Stand tall with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Raise the broomstick over your head. Your hands should be far enough apart that your arms make a Y shape.
- Keeping your elbows straight, move your arms back and forth – about six inches back and about six inches forward. This is one rep.
- Repeat this motion for 10 to 20 reps, then rest and repeat another set of 10 to 20. Remember, if you can only do fewer than 10, that’s no problem.
It’s amazing how good posture can do more than just help your bones! It makes you feel and look younger too. Talking about feeling younger, I’d like to share with you a survey about aging.
Survey Reveals Most Adults Think Symptoms Of Aging Are Inevitable
It’s no secret, and Savers know, that exercise helps keep you young. But remarkably, a new survey shows that most Americans don’t realize this.
When the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) surveyed more than 1,000 U.S. adults, they found that about half the participants expected their strength and flexibility to decrease as they aged. In fact, an APTA spokeswoman noted that many Americans think they have no choice but to expect surgery and prescription drugs as they get older.1
Thankfully, you do have a choice! Just because you’re getting older, it doesn’t mean you have to rely on medical and pharmaceutical interventions. What you need instead is bone-healthy nutrition and healthy lifestyle habits that include regular exercise, like the workout program described in the Densercise™ Epidensity Training System.
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Learn the 52 exercise moves that jumpstart bone-building – all backed by the latest in epigenetics research.
It’s never too late (or too early!) to adopt a healthful lifestyle and fight the effects of aging. That’s why Densercise™ was developed to be used in conjunction with the Osteoporosis Reversal Program – no matter your age, exercise rejuvenates bones, increases youthful energy, and offers a plethora of benefits.
And please don’t forget to share your thoughts about this and this weekend’s exercise by leaving a comment below.
1 Shah, Yagana. “Survey Reveals U.S. Adults Are Resigned To The Symptoms Of Aging.” Huffington Post. October 1, 2015. Web. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/survey-reveals-us-adults-are-resigned-to-the-symptoms-of-aging_560d43fee4b076812700eadf?utm_hp_ref=fifty&ir=Fifty§ion=fifty