Fit the Sit & Your Rounded Shoulders
Welcome to the world of “Sit”. It has become a modern and convenient position for us to work, commute, rest and relax. Unfortunately for us, our bodies tend to take advantage of “modern and convenient” and get very passive in our muscle and joint communication. What I mean by this is that if we are not mindful of the way that we are sitting/moving, it is very easy to slip into a dysfunctional pattern. Our joints are made to move and our muscle are made to support. With passive positions like sitting it is very easy for our muscles to stop supporting, resulting with our joints becoming the default support system. Over-time, this will create a degenerative pattern that may be tough to reverse. So when your mother told you to sit up straight, she wasn’t kidding. It is very important to stay supported through our postural musculature.
This week we went over some simple drills that you can do to open up your shoulders to combat the constant pull that gravity puts on our bodies. Following our Decompress – Lengthen – Control – Load system, here is our recommended sequence, in order.
- Decompress – 90/90 Breathing with Chest Opener. Place foam roller under T-Spine, inferior to scapula, grab a dowel and pull into the overhead position. Inhale, 360 degrees into your thorax and with your exhale tighten your core muscles. Take 3-4 breaths in this position and then move the foam roller superior about 2-3 inches. Repeat until you have the foam roller between your scapula.
- Lengthen – Modified Cat/Cow with PNF Pec Stretch. Get into a kneeling position with your arms resting on a table or couch. Start in a Thoracic flexion position, slowly move into thoracic extension segment by segment. Keep most of your weight in your heels during this movement. When you get to end range extension in the T-Spine, lightly press your arms into the table to activate the pec muscle group. Hold facilitation for 10 seconds and relax as you deepen into the stretch. Activate pec muscle group one more time and sink deeper. Repeat entire sequence 3-5 times.
- Control – Find Scapular Position. Retract shoulder back all the way, back off about 10%. You want your ear, shoulder joint and hip joint top more or less ass line up. Keep in mind that just because forward rolled shoulders is the most common dysfunction in todays world, over-retracting the shoulders and keeping them depressed is not the answer. It is crucial to find. Good neutral position and make that position strong.
- Load – Challenge the above position with a band. Hold the band up in front of you at shoulder height. Keep your scapula in the nice neutral position identified in the above exercise. Pull band apart but keep your elbows tight to your rib cage (elbows are narrower than hand position). Hold this position for 30, 45, 60 seconds. When you feel confident here, start to add movement of the GH joint, Elbow and even wrist while maintaining the strong scapular position.