Upper body workout Flexibility (range of movement) Shoulder depression Starting position: Place your hands alongside your body or on your lap, whichever is more comfortable. Movement: Push both shoulders down toward the ground and hold for a count of five. Repeat five times. Explanation: The trapezius muscle can get very tense and tight. This is a good exercise for releasing that tension. Shoulder flexion Starting position: Sit with your hands clasped in front of you. Movement: Lift your hands above your head and stretch your arms up to the ceiling. Hold for five seconds and repeat five times. Modification: If this exercise is too difficult to do while sitting, try it while lying down with elbows bent. Shoulder abduction with external rotation Starting position: Sit with both of your hands on the back of your neck or on the side of your neck. Movement: Push your elbows apart, separating them as much as possible. Hold for five seconds; repeat five times. Thoracic rotation Starting position: Cross your hands across your chest. Movement: With your hips facing forward, twist your upper body to the right as far as possible. Hold for five seconds and repeat five times. Repeat on the left side. Strengthening Elbow flexion (biceps curl) Starting position 1: Sit with your arms hanging down by your side with the palms facing forwards, elbows tucked into sides, holding a 0.5kg weight or greater in each hand. This can be a handheld dumbbell, a can of beans or a bag of rice depending on your handgrip. Movement: Bend and straighten alternate elbows. Repeat ten times Modification: For this exercise, you need to be able to hold the weight. If you can’t, it may be easier to use velcro strap-on weights. Starting position 2: In sitting, fix some lightweight theraband under your right foot and hang your right hand by your side with your palm facing forwards. Grasp the theraband in your right hand so that it is taut (but not too taut) when your arm is hanging at your side, with elbow tucked into your side. Movement: Bend your right arm upwards (biceps curl) as far as is comfortable and hold this position for the count of 5, then return to the starting position. Repeat five times, repeat on other side. Finger and thumb flexion Starting position: Support your forearm on your lap or a table holding hand putty in the palm of your hand. Movement: Squeeze the putty (initially gently as it may feel very hard) with your fingers and thumb, making imprints in it, and then release. Repeat five times. Modification: You may use play dough or a soft ball instead of the hand putty. Cool down Pulling shoulder blades backwards stretch Starting position: In sitting with your hands by your side. Movement: Pull your shoulder blades back together while turning your thumbs and hands outwards. Hold for a count of five. Repeat five times. Shoulder internal/external rotation Starting position: Put your right hand behind your neck (or on the side of your head). Put your left hand behind your back (or along the side of your hip). Movement: With your right hand, reach downwards as far as possible. With your left hand reach upwards as far as possible. Hold the stretch for five seconds, and repeat five times. Switch hands and repeat the movement five times.