This is one of my default exercises that pretty much anyone should learn to master.
Because it can promote good posture, encourages good connection between the pelvic floor, abdominals and breath, makes us aware of our shoulder blades and makes us think of head position. What this does is help to strengthen and stabilise the shoulder girdle, aids in neck, shoulder and back pain and could help with headaches and jaw pain.
Well what is this amazing exercise you say?
It is none other than the ‘dumbwaiter’.
Hugely overlooked and underrated, at its most basic level you don’t even need a band, just your arms. Do it sitting or standing, it has benefits to both.
How to perform:
First off, make sure your spine is straight and neutral, if you are sitting, you should be balanced on your sit bones.
Think about lifting your breast bone to the ceiling and creating space between the collar bones.
Secondly, gently draw the chin very slightly towards the spine, and imagine your ears are being lifted towards the ceiling.
Next bend the elbows with hands in line and palms facing upwards.
Try to keep the elbows over the hip bones, but don’t press them into the sides.
From there imagine you are balancing two heavy plates in your hands and open the arms out to the side. If holding a resistance band, be careful not to make a tense fist around it. And try to do this on the out breath.
On the in breath, allow the hands to return to the start.
For added challenge, when the arms are open, reach them towards the opposite walls, allowing them to come up to around shoulder height. Make sure that the tops of the shoulders don’t rise up towards your ears and that your chin doesn’t poke forwards.
In both variations, keep your belly button gently drawn in towards your spine, or lift the pelvic floor (avoid squeezing your bum).
Watch the video for a short demo: