Learn a great back and shoulder strengthening exercise you can do at home with a partner
For more gentle exercises for older people, to be done with or without a partner, find the full program on our site:
This gentle exercise targets the back muscles and can combat back pain. Keep in mind that you will need an elastic resistance band to perform this exercise!
Voice-over by volunteer Lizzie Da Costa
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In this video you will learn about an exercise you can do with a partner to strengthen the muscles in your back.
Check your physical ability with a doctor before starting this exercise.
Strengthening these muscles can help to prevent, and sometimes even to cure, back pain.
You will need an elastic exercise band
This exercise is made up of two steps: Positioning and then Movement
First, getting into position.
Stand opposite each other, with your feet slightly wider apart than your hips.
Take a step back
Elongate your spine to make yourself taller. Raise the back of your head, whilst tucking in your chin and looking straight ahead.
To stop your back becoming too hollow, rock your hips backwards to make your back straight, and tighten your core.
The older person, should take one end of the band in each hand with your arms outstretched.
As the partner, you should take the centre section fo the band with both hands and step away from the older person so that the band becomes slightly taut.
Keep your arms bent at a 90 degree angle.
Second step: the movement.
As the older adult, while inhaling, pull your elbows back, opening up the chest and squeezing your shoulder blades together.
Make sure that your feet stay fixed to the ground and that your heels don't lift up
To do this exercise properly, remember to tighten your core to keep your back straight.
For the partner: Make your body a counterweight, taking the weight on your legs
Keep your arms bent.
You should not move at all during the exercise.
Repeat the movement 10 times
In order to go even further with this exercise, here is a variation.: the partner does the same movement as the older adult, which significantly increases the intensity of effort required
Do this exercise 2 or 3 times a week and you will quickly notice the benefits.
Over to you!