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Working the Posterior Upper Torso

Last week I demonstrated two low risk, floor-based exercises to effectively strengthen the chest muscles – Pec Major & Minor. As with any exercises that targets a specific muscle group or body part, it’s important to work the opposing, antagonistic muscles to maintain balance.

In this case, the target muscles are the deltoids, scapula stabilizers, and rhomboids. Here are three exercises, which use a stability ball and very light (one pound) dumbbells or no weight at all.

Y- With knees on the ground against the stability ball, and the upper torso on top of the ball – stomach on top – extend the arms out in front shoulder width apart, as if trying to fly. Head should be in a neutral position (looking down to the floor). Place the thumbs facing the ceiling. Slowly raise and lower the extended arms with thumbs up in a very short range of motion. Work up to 15-20 repetitions.

T – In the same set up as the “Y,” place the arms extended out to the sides (like wings on a plane) – palms facing down. In a similar short range of motion, move the arms up and down.
Work up to 15-20 repetitions.

Extensions – Same set up as the first two exercises. Place arms close to the body with palms facing up toward the ceiling. The motion is to elevate the arms just above the buttocks and lower to the starting position. Work up to15-20 times.

Remember, you should always consult your physician before beginning any exercise, diet, or nutritional supplementation program.

Mackie and April share exerises every Wednesday on WWL-TV