You shoulder the burden
And shoulder the storm
Provide me your shoulder to
Protect me from harm
My life has been in overdrive lately and all that tension and stress has ended up in my shoulders. I try to think about it and relax my shoulders, but I still find them creeping up to my ears and causing a pinching between my shoulder blades.
- Have you ever injured your arms and shoulders?
- Do you carry stress and tension in your neck, upper back?
- Do you ever notice your shoulders hiked up around your ears?
It’s not surprising that so many people, including myself, experience one, or all of these shoulder issues. To maintain our erect human posture we have two options – good core support, or overuse of our arms and shoulders to try and hold us up. You might experience more headaches, or be prone to shoulder injuries and rotator cuff problems. The good news, things can change quickly with the right body awareness, exercises, and improving our posture.
First of all, we need to strengthen our core and back. It seems a little odd to focus on our muscles SOUTH of our shoulders, but the stronger our abs and back are, the more our shoulders can relax. It’s like the abs and back are a tent pole holding the shoulders up.
We can also do some active work to pull the shoulders away from the ears. While standing with your spine in neutral, let your arms hang down by your sides. Inhale into the back ribcage and lengthen your spine. Then exhale and draw the shoulder blades gently downward towards the back of your waist. Repeat that 3-5 times.
Good Pilates exercise techniques makes a healthy body. If you have a weak core, chances are your shoulders like to be hiked up around your ears. With a strong center it’s much easier to improve shoulder mechanics, reduce joint pain, and maximize your Pilates workouts. Doing the right exercises to strengthen your abdominals and back, along with practicing your active relaxing of the shoulder blades, and you’ll be off to a great start for developing strong and healthy arms and shoulders with any and all of the exercises you do. Then we can keep that tension out of our shoulders and put them to better use for those we care about.