I LOVE this exercise.
It works so many different areas of the upper body all in one motion.
You can practice this with or without a resistance band, depending if you’re focusing more on progressing range of motion or if you’re keying in on postural strengthening, respectively.
This exercise will allow movement to occur in the following areas:
- Cervical spine, or neck
- Thoracic spine, or mid/upper back
- Scapulae, or shoulder blades
You can practice this in standing or sitting.
If it’s your first time trying this exercise, you may want to start out without using a resistance band, as it can take a little practice to coordinate this dynamic motion.
Here’s how to do it!
Step 1: Starting Position:
- Position both arms straight out in front of you at shoulder height, with the palms facing each other.
- Make sure the shoulders are down and you have a nice, upright posture.
Step 2: Draw Your Bow and Arrow:
- Allow the elbow on one arm to bend as that arm swings back behind you.
- The opposite arm will not move.
- As the moving arm draws back, allow the head, neck and mid/upper back to rotate towards that moving arm.
- Once at your end range, hold for up to 5 seconds, then return to your starting position.
- Repeat on the other side.
- Continue alternating back and forth between sides for 10 repetitions each direction.
1. Don’t let the hips move during the Bow and Arrow.
2. Avoid hiking the shoulders up toward the ears.
3. Allow yourself to swing into the motion. Avoid too much stiffness or rigidity.
If you plan on trying this with a resistance band, all you have to do is hold the band in both hands and perform the same exact motion that you did above.
Be patient with this one. As mentioned above, it can be a little trick at first with the coordination of the movement, but so worth it once you get the hang of it!