For more movements from the Element Training program, click on the figure at left.
Exercises for Strength
Bent-Over Single Rows
Place one hand and the same knee on a bench or bed, and the other foot on the floor. With the remaining hand, take hold of a dumbell and lift it toward the ceiling. Be sure to pull your shoulder up (relative to the ground) as you lift. If your body is stable enough, you can free your supporting hand and use it to help you lift past failure. Keep your back balanced and supportive.
Standing Double Rows
Stand with your knees slightly bent and your torso close to horizontal. Now reach down and grab a dumbell loaded hammer-style ( --||||-- ), and bend your elbows to pull it up towards your body. Use an overhand grip with the elbows out to focus more on the traps, or an underhand grip with the elbows at the sides for a better rear shoulder/bicep workout. Keep your lower back strong and supportive. This exercise is a good counterpart to push-ups, since it works all the opposing and balancing muscles.
Hold a light weight in each hand, stand with knees slightly bent and lean forward at the waist. Now lift both arms up and out to either side, elbows straight but not locked, supporting with your lower back.
Stand up, hold a dumbell in each hand, and lift your shoulders up and down. You can try this with shoulders forward or back, but be very careful with circles or any other motions.
While in the Locust Pose, extend your arms straight sideways, take hold of a light weight in each hand if you like, tighten your traps to lift both arms as high as possible, then lower. You can also lift in an arc, starting with your arms lowered and pointed sideways/down at 45°, lifting your arms to point out at 90°, lowering them pointed sideways/up at 45°, and lifting up to 90° again.
Stretches for Flexibility
Stand with your back straight and reach both hands as far forward as possible. Keep your palms together, or link up your fingers and turn your palms upward. Raise your linked hands and/or touch your chin to your chest to modify the stretch as you hold it. This stretch can also be done from hero pose.
Doorway Pushback Stretch
Grasp the side of a doorway at shoulder height. Place your assisting hand against the wall beside the doorway, and use it to push your body back. Keep the stretching hand's foot forward for better ergonomics. This stretch works well with a high chin-up bar.
Lay flat on your back and touch the soles of your feet together. Reach forward and wrap your hands around your feet, rock forward to place your tailbone on the floor, and gently push forward with your legs to stretch out your traps.
Triple Trap Stretch
Hold the stretching arm across your chest. Move your chin towards your chest and bring the stretching side's hand to take hold behind your head, pushing gently to increase the stretch. Finally lean gently forward and away from the stretching side.
Sit on the floor with legs extended and place your hands on the floor behind you, as close together and far back as is comfortable. Gently move your shoulders in circles (clockwise if viewed from the right) to massage out some knots.
A Static Hold for Endurance
Lay flat on your back with your arms straight out in a T, and your palms up or forward. Use your traps to lift your head and then your upper back off the floor. If you're going to assist with your abs, make sure it's a conscious choice.