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Floor Angels For Your Shoulders: Movement Vitamins Challenge Week 4
Unlike what happens in Vegas, what happens in your shoulders does NOT stay in your shoulders.
The way you use these complex joints will affect your breathing, your breast tissue, your spine, your heart, your hands, the shoulders themselves, and probably a whole bunch of stuff I haven’t even thought of. So your shoulder health is a HUGE DEAL, right?
The Way You Use Your Shoulders
One of the basic principles of physiology is that your body adapts to what you do most frequently.
Personally, I spend a lot of my time with my arms under shoulder height and rolling inwards. I type. I cook. I fold my arms when I’m standing there talking to you.
That means that I *might* be using 25% of the range my shoulders, chest and arms are capable of, most of the time
How about you?
I’m guessing we’re not too different.
How You COULD Use Your Shoulders
Chris and I helped our neighbour pick sour cherries the other day.
Apart from meaning some delicious desserts, I got to climb the tree and pick.
It was super interesting to feel how my arms were working.
Holding with one hand, I stretched, rotated and reached with the other. The ranges I moved in would have been completely normal to our hunter gather ancestors – to me they were a revelation. So much movement, without thinking, without trying – it was just what had to happen to pick the cherries.
Why Your Body Needs Floor Angels
You’re probably not giving up your day job any time soon to become a fruit picker.
And even if you did, you’d be likely to injure yourself if you took your keyboard-adapted body and started climbing around a whole lot.
So that’s why Floor Angels are amazing. They will help you coax movement back into your shoulders, opening up the short, tight pectoralis muscles. Getting some blood flow into this area feels fantastic for most people – I hope you love this Movement Vitamin as much as I do!
This Week’s Challenge & Some Handy Tips
Ok – now we’re really cooking! This week your program is:
- Rhomboid Push-ups – 3 sets of 10-12
- Calf Stretch – 3x 1 minute per side
- Top Of The Foot Stretch – 3x 1 minute per side
- Floor Angels – 3 sets of 1 minute each (but you might want to spend 15 minutes instead, they feel so good!)
I HIGHLY recommend doing the Angels in front of a mirror so you can check your ribs. Rib lifting is how we fake shoulder movement a lot of the time. This is not awesome for your spine or for your shoulders!
Also, if this bothers your shoulder(s), try lifting the affected arm(s) higher towards the ceiling and/or externally rotating more (e.g. going from “palms up” to “palms facing the wall behind you and pinky side of the hand up towards the ceiling).
If you don’t have a bolster, a rolled up sleeping bag, a few blankets or cushions, a foam roller, or anything else firm and fairly narrow and about 8 inches high should work.
P.S. Don’t forget to pick up your free copy of the entire Movement Vitamins Challenge workout plan!
Petra is a movement educator and personal trainer with a passion for helping people find greater ease, joy and health in their bodies. She believes that better movement can help every body - and she's always happy to chat about it. When she's not teaching, you'll probably find her hanging out on a set of monkey bars.