Test Your Shoulder Health – Two easy steps to improved posture
Article by Iain Bain
Freelance Writer and Fitneff Inc. Blogger
February 12th, 2016
Internal rotation of the shoulders (scapulae) is a common muscular inefficiency that deteriorates the nine to five desk worker. This is a simple way to test your shoulders’ health and two movements you can do at work to prevent and reverse the damage being done.
- Get two pens.
- Place one pen in each hand with the ends protruding forwards.
- Let your arms hang loose at your sides as they would rest usually.
- Are the pens parallel?
If the pens point towards each other, no matter how slight the angle, your shoulders sit with an internal rotation. This leads to tightening of the neck, deterioration in posture, pinched nerves, headaches, I could go on. Your goal is for your shoulders to sit retracted and externally rotated giving you a proud chest, i.e. parallel pens.
How to fix and maintain your shoulder setting:
1. Scarecrows – External rotation of the scapulae
- Find a wall to stand against.
- With your back to the wall flatten your lumbar spine against the wall engaging your core.
- Raise each elbow so that they sit on par with your shoulders and are 180 degrees from point to point.
- There should be a 90-degree bend in the elbow so your forearms are perpendicular to the wall.
- While maintaining core contraction and stationary elbows, externally rotate your wrists up to the wall behind you.
- Bring them back to the original starting position.
You may not be able to reach the wall on your first try. This is normal. The more you practice the more your range of motion will improve. Do three to four sets of 15 daily.
2. Wall Slides – Maintaining external rotation and retraction of scapulae
- Complete one repetition of the scarecrow exercise and pause at the top with your wrist against the wall (as close as you can).
- While maintain proximity to the wall and core contraction, raise your hands up along the wall until your elbows are fully extended.
- Then bring them back down to the original starting position.
This exercise is designed to improve your scapular mobility and strength. Do three to four sets of 15 reps daily.
Name: Iain Bain
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