Health Blog

11. Abdominal Crunches (Strength)
Movement: Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. With hands at your side, lift your head and shoulders off the floor—moving hands either toward ankles or knees as you lift.

Hint: Head should be in a rigid position (pretend to have an apple in between your chin and chest while lifting).
Note: It is normal for the neck muscles to become fatigued.

12. Arm Lift (Strength)
Movement: Lie on the corner of a bed face down, with head and neck relaxed. Extend arms over your head and raise arms toward the ceiling. Hold for 2-5 seconds increasing to 15 seconds over time. Repeat 5 times.
Hint: Place a pillow under your hips for support. Repeat flexibility exercises #6 & 9

13. Stabilization of Shoulder Girdle (Strength)
Movement: Lie on the corner of a bed face down. Relax head and neck. With arms extended out to the side, squeeze shoulder blades together and raise both arms toward the ceiling. Hold for 5-10 seconds. Build up to holding for 20 seconds.
Note: This exercise will become easier over time. It can be advanced by holding soup cans and then weights. Reduce your hold time to 1-3 seconds.
Hint: Place a pillow under your hips for support. Repeat flexibility exercise #9

14. Upper Back and Neck Stretch (Flexibility)
Movement: Tilt head to the side, and gently grasp the side of your head (at ear) and allow gravity to stretch the muscles. Then place opposite hand behind back. Hold for 10-20 seconds.
Note: Do not pull on head and neck!

15. Shoulder Reach (Strength)
Movement: Lie on your back with arms extended toward the ceiling. Attempt to open your shoulder blades as you push arms straight up to the ceiling. Keep your back against the floor and elbows straight. Hold for 5 seconds and build up to 15 seconds.  Repeat flexibility exercise #6

16. Shoulder Blade Lift (Flexibility)
Movement: Place (L) hand on (L) shoulder blade, elevating elbow. Move chin and nose to (R) shoulder. Gently place (R) hand on top of head, and allow gravity to stretch the muscle. Hold 10-20 seconds, repeat to the other side
Note: Do not pull on head and neck!

17. Upward Row (Strength)
Movement:
1. Stand tall with shoulder blades squeezing together. Hold a towel with both hands in front of your body, palms facing toward the body. Leading with the elbows, lift both hands to the chin and hold; squeeze shoulder blades together in this position.
2. Once this becomes familiar, add 1-5 pound weights, repeat 10-20 times.
FORM CHECK: At the end of the exercise, elbows should be higher than the ears and wrists.  Repeat stretches #8 & 14