I’ve always been that person who needs a sunrise workout to get me out of bed. Typically this comes in the form of a dance class or Pilates lesson. When I’m in the consistent rhythm of starting my day with these dynamic movements, fitness feels fun and easy. However, when I injured my neck several months ago (and the injury kept lingering), I had to learn how to modify my exercise routine. While I used to assume the only option was rest, I learned that you can take it down a notch while still getting the endorphins flowing. The exercises I list here focus on the upper body and have been great to promote blood flow and in turn decrease my healing time. And the best part is: I can do this band routine just about anywhere (even in the airport bathroom)! Of course, always please consult with your doctor before working out with an injury.
1. The High School Cheerleader (4 Moves)
Using a band with an end in each hand, stretch your arms out to the side, creating tension in the band. Repeatedly, with your arms locked out, close your arms in front of you. Do this for three sets of 15. Next do the exercise extending your arms diagonally across your body, still closing in front of you. After three sets of 15, switch sides. For the final move of this series, come closer in on the band. With your arms bent and glued to you sides, pull apart your arms creating tension in the band. This will work your upper back, rear deltoids and traps.
Lay your band on the ground and step on it, keeping your legs shoulder width apart. Pick up the excess end and pull it tight while raising your arm to chest level. Do this for three sets of 10 on each side.
Tie the middle of your band onto a doorknob. Grab the ends and then raise your arms to create a “Y” position over your head. Continue doing this for 2 sets of 10. This one is especially great for the mid-back.
4. Seated Band Rows
Sit on the ground with your feet out in front of you. Place the band around your feet. Making sure to sit tall, pull the band towards you while keeping your elbows close to your side. This can be performed with another variation: with your elbows in alignment with your shoulders, rather than at your side.
5. Opposite Superwoman
While on yours hands and knees, place one end of the band under a knee. Grab the other end with your opposite hand. While keeping your back flat and neck in alignment, raise your arm out straight. Do this 10 times before switching sides. This is working to strengthen your shoulders.