Skip to main content

Overhead Shoulder Raises: Fixing Slouching Two Deltoids at a Time

Today I am going to give you instructions on strengthening some of the upper back muscles that get hyper extended from our overly hunched daily routine. A friend of mine did some aid work in Haiti after their recent earthquake. Something he noticed was the excellent muscle tone of the back muscles amongst every age group, especially the elderly. He mentioned that they were quite adept at carrying things without much difficulty, even though he was there to treat the many other ailments they were suffering after the quake. The point is that they had excellent tone in their upper back from shoulder to shoulder, and as a result were not suffering from some of the common ailments of American society, where 10-15% of adults experience neck pain..

One exercise effective at improving tone is the overhead shoulder raise. The overhead shoulder raise involves holding a medicine ball or other weight in front of your body and then simply raising it overhead.
Front Shoulder Raise
Here are the keys to maintaining good posture:
  • Feet spread shoulder width apart, shoulders pulled down and back, abs pulled in
  • Rotate the weight while keeping arms straight (not locked elbows)
  • Do not shrug or sway. Always keep your body still
  • You should feel this behind the shoulders and along the center of the back
Check out this video as well for more on maintaining form (but he still sways too much) and other modifications:
You can modify this exercise by using bands as well. If you are unsure of the form: talk to your trainer

Most Popular Posts

Exercise- Some Motiviation Required

It requires some thought in to why we do and don't do things. Exercise was not really much expected of the average person when there was so much labor to do around the home and job. Our evolution from labor based to service based industries has created a need for us to generate time for activity. Hence- our need for motivation.
Exercise in ancient Greece, for example, was an ingrained part of the religion and culture. The Gymnasium was dedicated to physical perfection, but also developed into a meeting place of philosophers and educators.
In some ways, exercise is a motivator today for people to look attractive, impress their friends, potential friends, or just to make people notice them. Vanity can motivate.
Sometimes, it's just about pride. The thought of having to buy new clothes to make room for more of you is just not pleasant (especially when you see the selection available). In fact, some studies have demonstrated that monetary incentives have helped people lose weigh…

Fiber for FItness (or just fitting into clothes)

The average American diet simply does not have enough fiber. White enriched flour has almost no fiber content. The most popular veggies are tomatoes, iceberg lettuce, and cucumbers, which have almost no fiber content (or vitamin content for that matter). Fiber helps regulate the digestive system (especially soluble fiber) by moving lipids (i.e. fats) through the blood stream and helping regulate sugar absorption. Insoluble fiber helps move bulk through the intestines, easing constipation and maintaining healthy acid levels.
You should also try to manage the sugar and fiber intake, especially for weight loss. Less sugar equals fewer calories which always contributes to weight loss. Check out the chart below for examples
Other great ideas are some of the whole fruit smoothies such as Bolthouse Farm products which use whole fruits and not juices. Fiber in your diet is an easy way to lose weight without making huge changes, so get started!

Body weight, reexamined...

The constant battle with the scale can be unending and unnerving. Before you even consider using it as your guide to a healthy weight, you should really consider the alternatives:

Body fat percentage: this is the most accurate measure of health and fitness. It means a low weight or lean person can have too much body fat and still have the potential for many ailments associated with being "overweight" including Type II diabetes and osteoporosis, for example. A heavier person with normal body fat percentage would actually be better off. Technology allows us to measure body fat percentage through a bioelectric resistance pad, which are those silver pads you can find on some scales. Make sure you purchase that kind of scale because it really appraises you of true progress- more lean tissue and less fat. See how you fall out on the chart below:

Waist-to-Hip Ratio: this is another effective way to measure how much fat has accumulated around the abdomen. As a general rule, the hips …