October 18, 2022
Author: Shelby
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  • Star Exercise of the Week: Quadruped Alternating Arm Lift

If you’re looking to not only work on upper body strength, but also improve your posture, this is a great one! 

It’s super easy to do at home either on the floor or your bed. You can practice this with or without a resistance band. 

The muscles targeted with this exercise include the following: 

  • Upper trapezius 
  • Erector spinae 
  • Deltoids 
  • Coracobrachialis

The biceps brachii attachment at the shoulder may also play a role in elevating the arm.

If this is your first time trying this one, you may want to begin without using a resistance band. If you find this too easy, then you can add use of a resistance band.


Step 1: Starting Position:

Without a band:

  • Either on the floor or your bed, position yourself on the hands and knees.
  • Try to engage the core with a little tension around the area of the belly button. 
  • Make sure the hands and wrists are in line with the shoulders and the knees in line with the hips. 

With a band:

Position yourself exactly as stated above, only this time you’ll be holding a resistance band in the hands (light, medium or heavy resistance).

You can use any resistance band, such as the Posture PT Resistance Exerciser


Step 2: The Arm Lift:

Without a band:

  • Without rotating the torso, raise one arm forward and up.
  • Raise the arm with the elbow straight and the thumb pointing up towards the ceiling.
  • Hold for 2 seconds, then return to your starting position.
  • Repeat on the other side. 
  • Alternate back and forth for 10-15 repetitions on each arm. 
  • Perform 2-3 sets of the exercise.

With a band:

Repeat the above instructions, only this time you’ll be using a resistance band for an additional challenge.

Tip: If you have trouble or pain remaining on the hands and knees for this exercise, then you may want to stick with similar exercises performed in sitting or standing.

Make sure to practice moving through a range of motion that feels comfortable for you, and that doesn’t encourage pain.


That’s it!


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About the Author Shelby

Shelby Green is a Florida-licensed Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT), currently practicing at St. Anthony’s Resource Center Outpatient Rehabilitation in St. Petersburg, FL. Shelby received her Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of South Florida, followed by her DPT from the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences. Shelby has 6 years clinical experience practicing in both the acute care and outpatient rehab settings. Specialties include orthopedics, with additional training in specific manual therapy techniques for pain management, as well as extensive training as a Certified Lymphedema Therapist.

Shelby is a Tampa, FL native, which is where she and her husband currently reside. Their favorite activities include spending time with family and anything outdoors, such as walking, bike riding, and going to the beach.

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