Our personal training clients are always wanting to improve posture, especially runners and desk jockeys. I have done many a blog post showing different ways to stretch different parts of the body. Lately I have been intent on wanting to improve/reverse the forward rotation of my shoulders after years of running, lifting and desk work.
I decided I would try anchoring my arm whilst the rest of my body is in a twist position which aids in the stretch. I then added windshield wiper abs so I can get that dynamic stretch instead of just the holding static stretch (on lifting or core days). The first few times I did it I could feel just how tight it was and now I add a little hamstring stretch with it or force my shoulder blade (scapula) to the floor and focus on breathing. It’s so much easier now.
I do realize that sharing this stretch with you, that many of you may not be able to put both knees together while your legs are in a spinal twist. That’s a whole different issue such as possible tight glutes, spine and supporting muscles. For now you may gently hold the top knee if it doesn’t torque your spine to a point of pain. Let’s focus on the chest stretch that you may feel deep into your armpit and breathe into it.
In the pictures below, notice that I have my hand in different positions. This is important to note as you change your hand position your upper arm bone either internally or externally (medially or laterally) rotates. You will want to try both and do the one that is hardest for you to do or just do both. You will have to wiggle your lower body in place and pick just the right angle for your body to be the most effective. Try to do morning and night for optimal benefits. You really get out of something what you put into it. You can start with 60 seconds and work up to 2-3 minutes if you are serious about your posture and also reducing shoulder, neck or back pain.
One interesting benefit I noticed after doing it for a week is that when I performed my post run shoulder stand I could see my feet, especially as I lowered them straight to the floor. This means that my chest is opened up a little more. I was even able to try some knee tuck and back up again core stuff for several reps without losing my balance.
Find Tonya online with live personal training/coaching or hire her to write a program for you with your own personalized 4-6 minute demo of each of your custom workouts included. Greenville, South Carolina site to be available this year in the town of Travelers Rest, South Carolina. Stay tuned for more details as we are working on securing a location. Memphis location 552 South Main, Memphis, TN 38103 is no longer onsite for training, massage and nutrition coaching.
Tonya Tittle, M.S., ACSM, LMT, TPI Level 1
Owner/Dir. of Training