Cobra Exercise Upper Back

Back Strengthening Exercises Video Series

This cobra exercise works the upper back to build strength. It is the fourth video in this series. The video on this page demonstrates with an exercise ball, but you can do this on a floor mat as well. 

The movement in this back strengthening exercise contracts the upper back muscles as you bring your arms up.

It is a slow and controlled movement to help strengthen the muscles.

This is both an isotonic workout (movers) and an isometric workout (static). At the top of the movement in this exercise, you will hold for a few seconds.

The hold is the isometric portion of this upper back workout.

If you do not have a stability ball, you can do this laying down on an exercise mat.

Instead of your arms reaching down and in front of you (as with the ball) you would just start with your arms stretched out in front of you.

Other than this slight difference, the below instructions will work using a mat.

This workout is just one in a series of many back exerices.

To see more videos in this series use the next / previous buttons below each video.

Exercise #4 - Cobra Exercise

This video also contains a brief demonstration of a couple of exericses to help loosen and stretch the back prior to the strengthening exercise.

The step by step below only covers the cobra exercise. If you want, you can add light weights to this to add extra resistance.
  1. Place the stability ball in front of you and lie on the ball to where your belly button is positioned on the ball.
  2. Extend your legs straight out behind you with your toes on the floor. Your lower body should be in a straight line.
  3. Keep your eyes and chin lowered and your glutes tight to hold the position.
  4. Stretch your arms straight out in front of you with the fingers pointing towards (and almost touching) the floor.
  5. With a slow and controlled movement, lift your arms up and back behind your body. Turn your hands as you do this to where the backsides are facing each other.
  6. Reach back and down and hold this position for a few seconds.
  7. Bring your arms back to the starting position.
  8. Repeat this for several repetitions.
When doing this exercise, squeeze your shoulders back and down when reaching your arms behind you.

Watch the video below to ensure you are doing the this move correctly. This video uses a stability ball for this exercise.

Not all mobile devices will display the video correctly. If you are not seeing the full video (or it's not displaying at all), click here to view the cobra exercise on youtube.

Additional Articles

Back Stretching Exercises
Be sure to stretch your back to help keep it in shape. Back stretches are a great way to tone those muscles, minimize injury and relieve back pain.

Benefits of Strength Training
Strength training helps build lean muscle mass which in turns increases your metabolism. An increase metabolism will help you burn more fat and calories. Find out what other benefits there are to strength training.

Resistance Band Exercises
Resistance bands are a great piece of equipment to do all sorts of strengthening exercises. They are inexpensive and easy to travel with so you can always get your workout in for the day.