Standing cobra with dumbbells on single leg using alternating arms


Exercise Benefits:

  • Perform this exercise at home or in the gym.
  • This exercise works the entire body, with a particular emphasis on the back, neck (trapezius), and rear of the shoulders. You’ll also be working your core muscles to keep your body balanced and stable as you perform the exercise on one leg.
  • This exercise is extremely beneficial for those of us who have very sedentary jobs that result in a hunched posture (shoulders rolling forward.)

How to Do the Exercise:

  • Stand with dumbbells in both hands, with your feet about shoulder-width apart. To keep your body in alignment, tighten your abdominal muscles before lifting one foot a few inches off the floor, and hold it behind you. The foot in the air should remain parallel to the foot on the ground.
  • Your body will tilt forward slightly; make sure that your back is flat in this position. Allow your arms to hang down from your shoulders, fully extended. Your palms should be facing each other.
  • Keeping your abdominals tight, pull your shoulder blades back and down, then bring your arms back in an arc toward your hips. Simultaneously, rotate your arms outward. At the top of the movement, your wrists should be facing the ceiling, with your little finger facing the front.
  • As always, return to your starting position with control before repeating your required number of repetitions.
  • At all times, ensure that your back is not arched or rounded, and that your head is in line with your spine. A good way to ensure proper alignment is to keep your gaze on the ground.


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