SHOULDER STRETCHES – PART 2 – SIMPLE MOVES
Shoulder Stretches – Part 2 – Simple Moves will allow you to add to your stretching practice. Your shoulders are extremely important to practical movement for your upper body. They are a combination of muscles that come together where the humerus meets the clavicle. If you have had a shoulder injury you need to speak to your Primary Care Provider regarding working your shoulder muscles.
This is part of a series of posts that will help you to build a head-to-toe stretch. Please refer to Part 1 – A Head-to-Toe Stretch . In that post you will find safe stretching rules like warming up and how to breathe while slowly progressing your stretch. These are extremely important.
WHY NO PICTURES
I have found when working with clients that stringent instruction on how to stretch safely is more important than specifying what moves to do. SAFETY is the most important factor. I want you to learn to do a stretch that works for you BECAUSE this is what you are likely to continue. So with safety in mind and after reading Part 1 (link above) move your muscle groups in all the ways they move naturally, work on creating a head-to-toe stretch that is YOURS! There are a lot of places on the Internet to find pictures if you prefer them. Harvard Health has some great stretches you can try. Otherwise, these are my suggestions.
Please imagine your body in the form of the letters “T” and “I” and move through the following stretches slowly and carefully. Hold each stretch up to 60 seconds. You may have to do this in two moves (stretch, breathe, hold stretch, breathe, stretch again ) and that is just fine.
With arms out to the sides forming a letter T with your body first – draw your right arm across your chest and hold. Next draw your left arm across your chest and hold.
With arms up above your head forming the letter I – reach your right arm up towards the ceiling and then your left arm up towards the ceiling. Remember all your muscles are connected so you will feel the stretch all the way down your back and that is how you will know you are doing it correctly.
Now with arms down by your side, close to your body – push both arms back away from your body. This you should feel in the front of your shoulders.
Lastly, with both arms out in front of your body and your hands intertwined- invert your hands and stretch out away from your body.
WHY BUILD A PRACTICE
Remember any stretching you do is helpful. Shoulder Stretches – Part 2 – Simple Moves will help with things like reaching for a cup from a cupboard, pulling on your trousers or put on your coat. You use your shoulders whenever you move your arms. The goal of stretching is keeping your body nibble and able to do all these things easily.
If you are following this series you now have a stretching practice that includes your neck and shoulders. These two muscle groups work together always. A stretching practice is key in practical health and I sincerely hope you are serious about including it in your healthy intentions for this year.
Good luck and please email me with any questions about your personal stretching practice at email@example.com.