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Master These Three Upper Body Exercises
Part 2 of 2
By: Jackie Wright

Last week the first of three upper body exercises, the pushup, was featured. This week we will focus upon the side-lying triceps press and the seated row utilizing a stability ball with resistive tubing. All of these are excellent muscular strengthening exercises for the upper body and all involve the core as stabilizers which continues our concentration on function. And, best of all, all three exercises require little or no equipment and can be performed just about anywhere. As always, please consult your physician prior to beginning any exercise program.

Side-Lying Triceps Press

Targets the triceps muscle group as the primary mover and the core, shoulder girdle and cervical muscles as stabilizers.

  • Begin lying on your right side with the shoulders, hips, knees and toes all facing forward and "stacked" one on top of the other. The body should be a straight line from the top of the head to the feet.
  • Place the right hand on top of the left shoulder (top shoulder) with the right elbow resting on the floor in front of you and your left hand on the floor in front of you in front of the elbow.
  • Shoulders rotated back/down, rib cage lifted and the navel pulled toward the spine with the neck in neutral looking straight ahead.
  • Engaging the left triceps, press into the floor with the left hand, extending the left arm fully. This should cause the elbow/head/neck/right side of the torso to lift simultaneously from the floor and then slowly return the body back to the floor and repeat.
  • Perform one-three sets of 8-12 repetitions, two to three times per week.
  • To increase the intensity of this exercise, hold both legs off of the floor as you perform the triceps press, keeping the hips on the floor.

Seated Row

Targets the latissimus dorsi, trapezius and biceps as primary movers and the core muscles as stabilizers.

  • Begin by placing a thick resistive tubing with handles around an immovable object so that when you are seated on the ball the handles will be approximately at shoulder height.
  • Place a stability ball of the correct height enabling you to sit with your feet on the floor and your legs in a 90 degree bend at the knee joint.
  • Make certain that the ball is far enough from the tethered point that the tubing is completely taut with your arms fully extended in front of you, your shoulders rotated back/down, rib cage lifted, navel pulled toward the spine and your posture is erect.
  • Keeping the ball completely still throughout, engage the latissimus dorsi (wide part of the back) and trapezius (upper/middle back) by drawing your scapulae together as you row your elbows back toward the wall behind you. You should feel as though you are "cracking an egg" between your scapulae with each repetition.
  • Then, return your arms to the fully extended position without losing your erect body position.
  • Perform one-three sets of 8-12 repetitions, two to three times per week.
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