Exercise Move: Medicine Ball Exercises: Lying Extension

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Working the upper back is important for proper posture and alignment – anyone that sits a desk all day should do this exercise!

  • Lay on your stomach.
  • Hold the ball behind the head.
  • Squeeze the butt and shoulder blades as you lift the upper body.
Working the upper back might not be at the top of your workout exercise list but it should be! Adding the medicine ball lying extension is a great low impact way to strengthen the upper back. A strong upper back has many benefits. The first is proper posture. Standing, or sitting, tall with the shoulders down and back gives an impression of strength and authority. The other benefit of a strong upper back is eliminating the ‘hunched over the computer’ look and the pain that goes with it.

When you spend too much time leaning over a machine, desk, computer, it creates a muscle imbalance. The upper back muscles become weak and the chest muscles become tight. This means that it eventually become uncomfortable to have the shoulders rolled back. It can also create strain and pain in the neck, shoulders and lower back. Keeping the upper back strong with the medicine ball lying extension will help to minimize the damage that is created by our daily tasks.

To do the medicine ball lying extension:
Start lying on your stomach. Feet should be tops down on the ground and shoulder width apart. Hold the ball behind the head and neck. Slowly lift the upper body, squeezing the butt and keeping the head looking out and down to avoid neck strain. The ball can be resting on your body but not fully supported by the neck and head! Bring the upper body back down to the starting position. Repeat 10 times. Keep the move slow and controlled and don’t forget to breathe!

Always remember to keep the body balanced. This means that when you work the upper back with the medicine ball lying extension, you should also do exercises for the chest. The same is true in all pairs – biceps and triceps, abs and lower back, hamstrings and quads… you get the idea. It’s hard to imagine but everything in the body is connected so keeping it all working well takes planning and dedication.

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