DUMBBELL COBRA STANDING SINGLE LEG

The dumbbell cobra standing single leg exercise develops balance and stability in the lower body while strengthening the postural muscles of the middle and upper back.

  • From a single leg stance, bend at the waist until your chest is at a 45 degree angle to the ground.
  • Feet should be pointing straight ahead with knees directly over the second and third toes.
  • Allow the arms to hang in front of the body with a dumbbell in each hand.
  • While keeping the abdominals tight, slowly perform shoulder extension and external rotation in a circular pattern until the arms are by the sides of the body.
  • At the end range, the palms are facing away from the body with the thumbs pointing upward and the shoulder blades are retracted and depressed.
  • Hold the end position, then slowly return to the start position.
  • Be sure not to compensate by elevating or protracting the shoulders.
  • Perform for the prescribed number of repetitions.

DUMBBELL COBRA STANDING

The dumbbell cobra standing exercise is a great movement to develop strong posture in the middle and upper back.

  • Stand with feet shoulder width apart, bend at the waist until your chest is at a 45 degree angle to the ground.
  • Feet should be pointing straight ahead with knees directly over the second and third toes.
  • Allow the arms to hang in front of the body with a dumbbell in each hand.
  • While keeping the abdominals tight, slowly perform shoulder extension and external rotation in a circular pattern until the arms are by the sides of the body.
  • At the end range, the palms are facing away from the body with the thumbs pointing upward and the shoulder blades are retracted and depressed.
  • Hold the end position for 1-2 seconds, then slowly return to the start position.
  • Be sure not to compensate by elevating or protracting the shoulders.
  • Perform for the prescribed number of repetitions.

Progression:

DUMBBELL BENT OVER ROW

  • With a dumbbell in each hand, bend at the hips keeping back straight. A soft bend in the knees is ok. 
  • Perform a row by bringing the elbows to the chest.
  • Hold 1-2 seconds.
  • Return to starting position.
  • Perform prescribed number of repetitions. 

ACTIVE NECK LATERAL ROTATION STRETCH

The active neck lateral rotation stretch is an effective warm up exercise to improve range of motion in the cervical spine and upper back.

  • Stand with feet shoulder width apart and upper body in proper posture with the shoulders relaxed down and back. 
  • Slowly rotate the head to the left as shown. Do not force the stretch.
  • Hold for 1-2 seconds. 
  • Return to the starting position and repeat by slowly rotating the head to the left as shown. 
  • Hold for 1-2 seconds.
  • Repeat for 5-10 repetitions alternating sides. 

ACTIVE NECK LATERAL FLEXION STRETCH

The active neck lateral flexion stretch is an effective warm up exercise that improves neck range of motion by stretching the upper trapezius muscles.

  • Stand with feet shoulder width apart and upper body in proper posture with the shoulders relaxed down and back.
  • Slowly allow the head to drop to the side as if you were attempting to touch your ear to your shoulder. 
  • Hold for 1-2 seconds.
  • Return to starting position and repeat to the other side.
  • Perform a total of 10 repetitions (5 per side). 

When letting the head tilt to the side, it is important to keep the shoulders relaxed down. If the opposite shoulder raises, the stretch on the upper trapezius is reduced. 

ACTIVE NECK FLEXION EXTENSION STRETCH

The active neck flexion extension stretch is an effective warm up exercise to improve range of motion in the neck.

  • Stand with feet shoulder width apart and standing tall with good posture. 
  • Keeping shoulders down, slowly lower the chin to the chest as shown. 
  • Hold for 1-2 seconds.
  • Slowly return to starting position and let the head tilt back until a stretch is felt in the front of the neck. 
  • Hold for 1-2 seconds. 
  • Return to starting position and repeat for a total of 5 repetitions.

ACTIVE CHEST STRETCH

The active chest stretch is an effective warm up exercise to improve motion in the shoulders and chest.

  • Stand with feet shoulder width apart and extend the arms out at shoulder height until a stretch is felt in the chest and front of the shoulders. 
  • Hold for 1-2 seconds. 
  • Return to starting position by crossing arms and grabbing the opposite shoulders.
  • Hold for 1-2 seconds and repeat for a total of 5 repetitions. 

ACTIVE SHOULDER FLEXION EXTENSION STRETCH

The active shoulder flexion extension stretch is an effective warm up exercise to increase the range of motion in the shoulders.

  • Stand with feet shoulder width apart and hands at sides with the palms facing the hips.
  • Slowly bring the arms back until a stretch is felt in the chest and front of the shoulders.
  • Hold for 1-2 seconds.
  • Return to starting position and raise arms overhead keeping the elbows straight.
  • Hold for 1-2 seconds.
  • Repeat for a total of 5 repetitions up and down. 

When bringing the arms up towards the ears, it is important to keep the hips and abdominals engaged. Failure to engage the hips and abdominals will lead to an arching of the lower back and an ineffective stretch of the latissimus dorsi. 

ACTIVE ROTATION STRETCH

The active rotation stretch is an effective warm up exercise to improve mobility and range of motion for rotational movement of the spine.

  • Stand with feet shoulder width apart and arms extended at the sides with palms facing up.
  • Slowly rotate to the left by rotating the hips. 
  • As you reach the end of the range of motion only rotating your hips, lift the right heel off the ground to reduce stress on the knee and rotate shoulders. 
  • Hold for 1-2 seconds.
  • Return to starting position and alternate sides for a total of 10 repetitions (5 per side). 

To reduce the intensity of the stretch, let the arms hang at the sides or place them on the hips. 

ACTIVE LATERAL FLEXION STRETCH

The active lateral flexion stretch is an effective warm up exercise for the lateral flexion movement of the spine.

  • Stand with feet shoulder width apart and hands at sides as shown. 
  • Slowly bend to one side letting the shoulders tilt to the right side, gently flexing the spine laterally.
  • Do not allow the hips to push out in the opposite direction.
  • Hold for 1-2 seconds.
  • Return to starting position and alternate sides for a total of 10 repetitions (5 per side).