Tight upper body muscles can lead to all kinds of issues including shoulder, neck, upper and low back pain. The shoulder is a very complicated joint, the ball and socket configuration makes it the most mobile joint in the human body. The shoulder joint includes muscles that push (pectorals), muscles that pull (lats), muscles that shrug (traps) and muscles that depress the shoulders.
The 3 exercises below are basic upper body stretches used to improve/maintain shoulder flexibility. Since a majority of upper body muscles are tied into the shoulder complex, completing these 3 exercises may be beneficial in improving a number of sore muscles and joints including your neck and low back.
(Figure 1)...a) raise your arm straight out to the side so the elbow is even or slightly higher then the shoulder; b) place the hand, inside of the forearm and inside of the elbow against a flat surface; c) gently turn your body away from the elbow, pulling the arm "behind" you; d) feel the stretch across the chest; e) hold for 15-30 seconds, then repeat on the opposite side; f) complete 1 to 3 sets on each side.
(arm up the back) (Figure 2)...a) place your arm behind your back; b) place the back of your hand flat against your low back; c) slide the hand up your back attempting to reach in between your shoulder blades; d) "drop" the elbow down toward your hip; e) hold 15-30 seconds, repeat on the opposite side; f) complete 1 to 3 sets on each side.
(Figure 3)...a) reach straight up toward the ceiling so the elbow is close to the ear; b) keep the elbow "fixed" and drop the hand down between the shoulder blades; c) gently grip the elbow with the opposite hand and pull the elbow behind the head; d) hold for 15-30 seconds, repeat on the opposite side; e) complete 1 to 3 sets on each side.
$25 Upper Body Stretch Challenge
a) Complete these 3 stretches 9 times (9 seperate days) over the month of October.
b) Record on the
Upper Body Stretching Log
and send it back to me
via email, mail or fax. I will send you a $25 incentive card for participating. Reminder: only one incentive can be given to each member household (with the exception that more than one employee-member lives in a household). Please contact me if you have questions.
Last day to submit challenge paperwork is 11/14/19.