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Upper-body resistance training exercises: Lateral raise and modified push-ups

May 6, 2008

Does adding a little simple resistance to your exercise actually make a difference? Have your patients try this weeks Upper-body resistance training exercises: Double-arm row and lat pull-down shared with us by Dr. Sheri Colberg, Ph.D., FACSM and see the difference yourself.

SheriUpper-body resistance training exercises: Lateral raise and modified push-ups


By Sheri Colberg, Ph.D., FACSM

#3: Lateral raise

Equipment needed: resistance band or dumbbells, bench or armless chair

Main muscles worked: deltoid (middle and back sections), trapezius


  • Sit with your back straight and the dumbbells in your hands at your sides or the resistance band underneath your bottom.
  • If using the resistance band, grasp one end of it in each hand and clench your fists with your knuckles facing upward.
  • Lift the dumbbells (or pull the resistance band up and straight out to the side) until both arms are level with your shoulders, keeping your elbows slightly bent.
  • Hold this position for a few seconds before slowly returning to the starting position.
  • During this exercise, relax your neck and try not to hunch your shoulders to ensure that your shoulder and neck muscles are doing the work (and not your arms).

Lateral raise
© 2006 and 2007 by Sheri Colberg and Patrick Ochs

#4: Modified push-ups

Equipment needed: (optional) exercise mat, resistance band

Main muscles worked: pecs, deltoids (anterior portion), triceps


  • Get on your hands and knees on the floor or mat.
  • If using a band for extra resistance, position it across your back and hold one end of it in each hand so that it is somewhat tight when your elbows are straight.
  • Place your hands shoulder-width apart on the mat.
  • Tighten your abdominal muscles to straighten your lower back and lower yourself (from your knees, not your feet) down toward the mat as far as you can without touching it.
  • Push yourself back up until your arms are extended, but without locking your elbows.
  • If this exercise is too hard, stand facing a wall and place your arms on it at shoulder height and your feet about a foot away; then, do your push-ups off the wall (with or without a resistance band).

Starting Position Midway Position
Starting PositionMidway position
© 2006 by Sheri Colberg and Patrick Ochs

In two weeks, the next two basic resistance training exercises that you can do using hand weights and/or resistance bands will appear in this column. For more information, consult The 7 Step Diabetes Fitness Plan: Living Well and Being Fit with Diabetes, No Matter Your Weight by Sheri Colberg and The Science of Staying Young by John E. Morley and Sheri Colberg (2007). Also, visit her web site at www.shericolberg.com for additional articles and access to her fitness blog.