MUSCLES IT WORKS

Upper Back; Back Side of Shoulders

HOW TO DO IT

Holding one dumbbell in each hand, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent for balance, and bend forward at your hips to no more than 90 degrees. Look at the floor slightly in front of you to maintain a straight line from the crown of your head through your hips. Hold the dumbbells with your palms facing each other and your arms slightly bent and directly below your shoulders. As you exhale, squeeze your shoulder blades together and raise the dumbbells laterally (to the sides) until your hands reach about shoulder height or slightly below. Inhale as you lower the dumbbells back to the starting position.

SETS & REPS
Do 3-5 sets of 10 repetitions (reps).

TIME
Do 1-3 sets at 60 seconds for each set.

WEIGHT OR RESISTANCE
5- to 15-lb. dumbbells. Most men will start at the upper end of the dumbbell range; most women will start at the lower end (less weight).

EQUIPMENT NEEDED
Dumbbells or resistance band (red or green); bench for modifications

DON'T DO THIS MOVE IF
you have low back problems.

 

HOW TO KNOW IF YOU'RE DOING IT RIGHT


You should feel your upper back and the backs of your shoulders working during this exercise. Specifically, when lifting the dumbbells you should feel the tension of your shoulder blades squeezing together. To maintain correct form, make sure you engage your abs to keep a flat back in the bent-over position. To maintain the correct arm movement, make sure to keep your elbows bent slightly, lead with your elbows, do not go past shoulder height when you lift, and keep your chest facing the ground. Focusing on your chest staying open to the ground will ensure that you use your upper back and rear shoulders to lift the dumbbells.


HOW TO MAKE IT EASIER
If you notice that your back is rounding or you feel discomfort or pain in your low back do this exercise in a staggered stance. Stagger either foot forward about 12 to 18 inches before bending at the hips to release any pressure in your low back.

You can also do this exercise seated on a bench. If sitting, bring your feet to about hip-distance apart. As you hinge at your hips to lower your torso parallel to the ground, let your hands (holding the dumbbells) drop to the outside of your legs. This is the starting position for the seated reverse fly. Do the reverse fly as described above, only in a seated position. Finally, you can do the reverse fly in a standing position by anchoring a resistance band (green or red) around a pole or in a door (just close the band in the door). Make sure you choose an anchor that allows the band to be level with your shoulders.

HOW TO CHALLENGE YOURSELF OR PROGRESS
If you can do 2 additional repetitions per set or complete 60 seconds without fatigue, consider adding repetitions, time, and/or sets. For example, instead of doing 10 repetitions for 3 sets, try 15 repetitions for 3 sets. To increase intensity without changing sets or time, try adding weight or using a resistance band (red or green) instead. If using a resistance band, stand on the band in the bent-over position as described above. Criss-cross the band so that the side anchored by the right foot is in your left hand and vice versa. Perform the reverse fly exactly as you would if you were using dumbbells.


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