Fitness

Give your shoulders some shape

Author: Canadian Living

Fitness

Give your shoulders some shape

Superhero lift
Why it is great

This invigorating exercise strengthens and stretched your entire shoulder girdle, which includes all three parts of the shoulder (or deltoid) muscle and the muscles around your shoulder blades and middle back. Strong, stable and flexible shoulders are especially important this time of year when we head outdoors to swim, play tennis and golf.

Moves
Starting position

• Lie face down, with feet parallel and toes touching the floor, head slightly off the floor, arms out to the side, elbows bent at 90 degrees and hands resting on a surface that slides, such as paper plates or gliding discs (A).

Action
• Pull abdominals up and in.
• Inhale and lift your upper body, squeezing your shoulder blades together and lifting elbows off the floor and in toward your ribs (B). 
• As you exhale, straighten your elbows, sliding your hands on the plates out in front of you into a wide "V" (C).

• Inhale and bring your elbows back in, then exhale and lower your body back down to starting position (A); relax and repeat.
• Do one to three sets of eight to 15 repetitions, three times per week.

What not to do
• Do not lift your chin to watch your arms; maintain a neutral spine throughout exercise.
• Do not arch your lower back in an attempt to lift upper body higher.

Muscles worked
• Rear, middle and anterior deltoids
• Trapezius 
• Rhomboids
• Latissimus dorsi

Maureen's tip
For a super summer workout:
Every day do moderate cardio activity for 30 minutes, strengthen your muscles for 15 and stretch for at least five.

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Fitness

Give your shoulders some shape

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