Osteopathy, Sports massage

Back And Shoulder Strengthening Exercises

Here are some of my favourite back and shoulder strengthening exercises.

These strengthening exercises aim to ‘undo’ the seated desk position – the forward shoulders, forward head and neck, rounded back.
Strengthening the mid and lower trapezius, latissimus dorsi and rhomboid muscles will encourage retraction of the shoulder blades, helping to support a more upright posture whilst also improving shoulder blade stability.

Before beginning this programme, please be aware not all exercises are suitable for everyone, particularly if you have a weakness or are prone to injury. If at any time you feel you are exercising beyond your current fitness ability or feel pain, discomfort, dizziness or nausea you should stop immediately and reconsider your use of this particular routine. The user assumes all risks of injury in the use of this programme.

*Some of these exercises require an exercise band or alternatively a pair of tights.

1. Scapular Setting

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Standing upright, look straight ahead and engage your core muscles.
To “set” your shoulder blades, imagine you are wearing you are wearing a V-neck t-shirt back to front. Draw your shoulder blades downwards and inwards/together. You should feel a muscular contraction around and between your shoulder blades.
Hold this position for the duration of 3 breaths.
Repeat 3-5 times. 

2. External Rotation

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Hold the ends of the exercise band in each hand and bend your elbows to 90°, tucking them in by your sides.
Keeping your elbows next to your body, move your hands outwards away from your stomach, against the resistance of the band. Then slowly return your hands back to the starting position.
Repeat 8-12 times, 3 sets. 

3. Narrow Rows

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Sit on the floor with your legs straight in front of you and your back straight. Loop the exercise band around the feet and hold each end.
Bend the elbows and turn your hands so your palms are facing each other. Pull your elbows back, against the resistance of the band, whilst squeezing your shoulder blades down and together. Hold this position for 1-2 seconds before slowly bringing the arms forwards.
This exercise can also be done standing by securing the exercise band to a door handle.
Repeat 8-12 times, 3 sets.

4. Wide Rows 

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Sit on the floor with your legs straight in front of you and your back straight. Loop the exercise band around the feet and hold each end.
Bend your elbows to 90°and raise them up to shoulder level. Pull your elbows backwards whilst squeezing your shoulder blades together. Hold this position for 1-2 seconds before slowly bringing the arms forwards.
This exercise can also be done standing by securing the exercise band to a door handle.
Repeat 8-12 times, 3 sets.

5. Lat Pull Down

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Secure an exercise band above your head – hooking over the top of a closed-door works well but please make sure that it is secure and not going to ping off!
Kneel on the floor or sit on a chair.
Hold the ends of the band and pull your elbows down towards your sides, squeezing your shoulder blades down and together. Hold this position for 1-2 seconds before slowly raising the arms to the starting position.
Repeat 8-12 times, 3 sets.

If you have any questions do get in touch.

Disclaimer: The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

 

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