Hi guys!

Sorry for the later than usual post today.  I am running on some serious lack of sleep – only 6 hours for two days in a row and then I had margaritas to the face another late night last night.  Please do not model your sleep habits (or beverage choices) after me this week!

More on the margaritas to come, but for now here’s this week’s Move of the Week!

Swiss Ball Y Raises

One of my latest favorite moves, Swiss Ball Y Raises target the muscles of your upper back that stabilize your shoulder blades, particularly the trapezius.  They also strengthen your shoulder muscles.  This was one of the moves I was prescribed to do as part of my physical therapy program after my shoulder impingement injury.  Basically I had over-trained the front of my shoulders, causing the back of the rotator cuff muscles to weaken.  This move helped even me back out and recover from injury!

Step 1

Lie prone on a Swiss Ball.  Your back should be flat and your chest should be off the ball.  Let your arms hang down directly beneath your shoulders.  Feet can be about hip width apart, the wider the base the more stable you will feel on the ball, just don’t make it too wide.  Palms should be facing each other.

(Excuse the pictures taken in my bedroom, thanks Trina for playing photographer!)

Step 2

Raise your arms up so they make a “Y” shape.  Your arms should be straight and at a 30-degree angle to your body to form the “Y.”  Again, keep your palms facing each other, so that the thumb side of your hands points up.  I always tell my classes to pretend they are hitchhiking here.

Be careful of raising your chest too high as you lift your arms.  You want to make sure the movement is coming from that shoulder!

No Swiss Ball?  No problem.  This move can be done lying on your stomach on the floor as well.  Just start with your arms resting in the “Y” position on the floor since they will have nowhere to hang beneath your shoulders.

Too easy?  Add some weights – make them light!  And make sure to still lift so your thumbs are up.

This is one rep of the move, go for 10 nice and slow.  Build up to a few sets.  You can also combine this with T raises, and I raises… but I’m going to save those for future Move of the Week posts.

If you are working out this weekend, make sure to work in some time for your upper back and shoulders!  Try this one out and let me know how it goes.

What’s your favorite way to work your upper back / shoulders?

Hope everyone has a great weekend!  I have a full weekend of activities planned around Beantown – Erica is visiting, yay!!