Injuries to the shoulders are something you want to avoid. Unfortunately, as we age and become naturally less supple, but then try to lift too much, or exercise too hard, or utilize the shoulders’ range of motion without first warming up, we can tear the rotator cuffs or injure the biceps tendons. Keeping the shoulders fit, supple and coordinated with the body is essential, and in today’s video Dennis Angelina will show you two simple exercises with a resistance band that will do the trick.

For today’s exercises you are going to need a resistance band. Different bands vary in thickness, and the thicker they are the more difficult they are to stretch. Usually the bands are color coded, though each company codes them differently. So, if you don’t have bands and are looking to get some, maybe try a three pack of different thicknesses to help you get the right one to start and have others to progress to.

For these particular exercise, you don’t need a lot of resistance. However, you do need a longer band that is about as wide as your outstretched arms; one of the smaller sizes won’t work here.

Getting started

You want to open up the band and step into it, such that your feet are on top of it at the bottom. If the band it too loose you can simply widen your feet to create more tension; and move your feet closer together for less resistance.

From here you want to engage your body. This means squeezing your butt, your quads, and your core. Whenever you are doing standing strength-training exercises you want to ensure you are engaging the ground and all major muscles up to your shoulders.

From this position and body engagement, we will do two exercises: the High Pull and the Shoulder Press.

Exercise 1 – The High Pull

Begin with hands by your sides, grasping the band with palms facing you. For this exercise you want to pull up the band, driving your elbows up as high as they can go. Pull up and the release back down. Three sets of 10 reps, twice a week, will help strengthen your shoulders, triceps and lats, and help keep your upper body coordinated and balanced.

Caution: If you have an irritated biceps tendon, you may want to avoid this exercise as it may irritate the condition.

Exercise 2 – The Shoulder Press

For this exercise you want to begin by holding the band across your thumbs and palm, palms facing up, with arms flexed at chest level. Be sure to keep your elbows tucked in, not allowing them to point out to the sides.

Maintain a vertical body that is engaged as before as you press your arms up toward the ceiling. You want to raise them simultaneously and end when your arms are fully extended and your biceps in line with your ears.

The motion is like opening up a window. See video for detail. Try three sets of 10 reps a few times per week and feel the difference in your shoulders and upper body strength.

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