“THE UPPER BODY WORKOUT You Can Do Even If You Have Wrist Pain" For males or females, this easy-to-learn upper body strength (UBS) workout is performed with a single set of light weight dumbbells; heavy weights are not needed. It is perfect for a post-run/walk strength session.
Jeanette Jenkins of The Hollywood Trainer Club demonstrates the moves in a video. By doing so she also shows the fluid transition between each different exercise. The entire routine is explained in the Fitnessmagazine.com article by Sophie Dweck:
*Back Row and Fly
*Triple Fly (this is a combination “I” - “Y”- “T” Raise exercise with weights!)
*Biceps Curl with Shoulder Press
*Medial Delt with Rotator Cuff (this move incorporates the “W” and “L” Raise moves!)
*Triceps Kickback with Rotation
*Triceps Press and Lift
For those hoping to achieve a youthful upright posture that contributes to good running and walking form, this is a terrific routine. Each time your arms are elevated from the resting position at your side and PULLED BACK (you must feel the squeeze), the muscles of the back are worked.
The benefit of the I-Y-T Raise exercise (Jenkins refers to it as a “Triple Fly”) is that it can alternately be performed WITHOUT WEIGHTS. And it can be made more difficult when lying on a Swiss Ball (engages the core muscles) or on an incline bench. When traveling, I-Y-T’s can also be done lying on a hotel room floor. A complete upper back workout can be achieved using a full “I-Y-T-W-L” exercise, by adding “W” and “L” moves.
The Men’s Health, ”BIG Book of Exercises” Upper Back Chapter includes a 6-page section demonstrating the “I-Y-T-W-L” Raises with LIGHT weights!
What are the “W” and “L” moves? Jenkins combines these moves and calls them the Medial Delt with Rotator Cuff exercise. [As the arms are elevated in a “T” move, the “W” move involves bending the elbows at a 90-degree angle with the hands UP. An “L” move involves bending the elbows at a 90-degree angle with the hands FORWARD from a “T” position.]
My “secret” very easy UBS session is to perform I-Y-T-W-L Raise sets (15 repetitions of each ‘letter’, 3 sets, holding each move for 3 seconds) during my cool-down walk on the way home, without weights. The key to getting a benefit without using weights is the HOLD of the position for 3 seconds in which the back muscles are squeezed together. I concentrate on pulling my elbows back just behind my ears to achieve a good SQUEEZE, without arching my back (see below).
I LOVE the “I-Y-T-L-W Raise” exercises because they represent a TOTAL upper back workout that especially strengthens the trapezius muscle, as well as the rotator cuff muscles and muscles of the shoulder/deltoids.
The important point to be made with all these exercises is that the back should NOT be abnormally arched but in a normal upright position, just as Jenkins does in the video. Keeping the head/chin level (not tilted back), eyes forward, will help prevent arching.
Something I might try next is to stow a set of 5 pound dumbbells at the end of my drive (if leaving from home) or in my car (if driving to a route) and performing this full routine.
For those who hate planks, especially because doing them hurts your wrists, Jenkins has prepared a gift of this workout.
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EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. I began participating in road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health.
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