Slouching over computers, hunched in our cars, lounging on our couches at the end of the day….. it’s a lot for a pair of shoulders to bear. This quick shoulder alignment exercise helps to re-align the shoulders, strengthen your mid-back postural muscles, and helps to stretch your chest and shoulders, which releases upper body tension, strengthens your inner core, and will even give you more energy, by allowing you to breathe easier. Doing the exercise standing gives you the core work but you can do it sitting down too. Like right now…. go ahead give it a go…. your body will thank you!
To perform the exercise: Stand tall (or sit tall), interlace your fingers, flip your palms away from you and press your arms straight out in front of you. With your elbows straight, "root" your armbones deeper into your shoulder socket. You shoulder feel your shoulder blades slide back too. Keeping your shoulders back and down, your shoulder blades back against your ribs, rotate your arms to the sky. It doesn't matter how high your arms go! You are looking to keep the shoulders integrated. Most people will end up with the arms around eye level or a little above.
The higher your arms go, the more likely your back will arch, your shoulders will hike, or your head will jut forward. Try to keep your whole body still with the only movement coming from the shoulders.
When you reach your individual peak of integration and stretch, breathe deep and savor the stretch, exhale and try to release any inner tension.
This pose stretches your rotator cuff muscles and requires you to be kind with yourself.
Want to see more? Click over to Kate's Blog for a step by step slide show of this exercise. Namaste & Make it a Great Day!.