Exercise Bank: scroll through the exercises and use them to improve your workout!

 September 2015 Posture Exercises:

1.       Shoulder Rotation (or “pot of soup”):  Stand tall with arms extended in front (holding the pot of soup).  Push forward, curling the shoulders forward, or moving the pot further away.  Keeping the arms straight, pull the pot of soup in closer, pulling the shoulders back.  Be careful to keep pressing shoulders down so they don’t pop up.  Repeat 8 times.

          2. Wall Angels: Stand with back to the wall: try to touch your behind, your shoulders and your head to the wall.  Feet can be out where they are comfortable. Contract abs to support the natural curve in your spine. Try to get your elbows to touch the wall beside you (arms are bent at 90 degrees).  Slowly raise hands up the wall and down to start position.  Repeat 8 times

Partner Back stretch:

 The person stretching (stretcher), lies on the floor with the right knee bent, left leg straight.  The helper kneels on the stretcher’s right side, and places their right palm on the stretcher’s right leg, just above the knee.  The helper places their left hand under the stretcher’s left shoulder, while the stretcher brings the left arm across their body.

The stretcher rolls the right knee across the body, while the helper applies gentle pressure to help the knee go further.  At the same time, the helper applies gentle pressure up on the shoulder, to gently lift the left shoulder, creating a twisting stretch for the lower back.

The helper moves to the other side of the stretcher to complete the second side.

Advanced:  After 30 seconds of stretch, the stretcher resists the hands of the helper, pushing the shoulder down and the knee up, activating the low back muscles.  Then the stretcher relaxes, takes a deep breath, and the stretch is repeated a little deeper.

Caution:  the stretcher is in control and must tell the helper when to stop the pressure.

Pectoralis Major Stretch

Standing, reach straight right arm back on the wall, chest touching wall.  Turn your shoulders away from the wall to the left, keeping the right shoulder close to the wall.

Variation: bent arm : Same as above, but bend the arm at 90 degrees.

Variation: arm raised 45 degrees on the wall:  From the straight arm stretch, walk the hand up the wall until your arm is at 45 degrees.  Stetch as before.

Partner stretch:  Sit on the floor with your hands linked behind your head.  Partner stands behind and braces a leg against your back.  Partner holds your elbows and gently pulls them back until you tell them to stop.  Hold and breathe deeply.  Partner then pulls a little further and holds again.  Release slowly.  Change positions.

Variation: chair stretch: same as above but you sit in a chair, and your partner braces with torso.

Side lying hip strengthener

Place Bender ball behind right knee.  Lie on your left side.  Slowly bring the knee toward your chest (hip flexion) and then bring it back behind your body (hip extension).  Repeat.

Variation:  Gluteus minimus angled lift   Keep the ball behind your right knee, but angle the right knee down to the floor and the foot toward the ceiling.  Lift the foot up and back at a 45 degree angle, then lower the knee to the floor. Repeat.

Toe Raises: Builds strength through the foot

Level one: Start with two feet flat on the floor.  Slowly raise your heel until all your weight is on the balls of your feet.  Lower slowly.

Level two: Start with one foot flat on the floor and the toes of the second foot lightly supporting your weight.  Raise and lower.

Level three: Start with one foot flat on the floor and raise the other foot above the floor.  Raise up on the ball of one foot.


Glutes Stretch (Gluteus Maximus and minimus)

Lying on your back on the floor.  Bring the right ankle over the left knee.  Flex both feet. Using the strength of the left leg, push the right ankle towards your upper body.

Harder: Use your hands to grab the left leg and pull it closer towards you.

With rotation: Place hands on the floor wide at your sides.  Bring the toes of the left foot to the floor.  Rotate your torso so that your right toes move towards the floor at your side.  Keep your shoulders on the floor.

Harder: Use the strength of your left leg to push the right ankle closer to your left shoulder.


 Pointer (strength)

Starting on all fours, square your body, widen your knees and contract your abdominals.  Raise the right arm straight in front, up to shoulder height.  Raise the left leg straight back, to the height of your buttocks. Hold and lengthen.  Then pull the right elbow and the left knee together under your body. Repeat eight times.

Repeat for the left arm and right leg.