Over the past two weeks, we’ve been diving into how to keep your body moving well when you’re sitting more than usual.
Now that you’re getting your hips and upper back moving consistently throughout the day, it’s time to work on your shoulders.
Similar to the upper back, the shoulders get very tight and sore from the slouched-forward position common to sitting.
This becomes a classic “if you don’t use it you lose it” scenario.
When it comes to movement, if you spend the vast majority of your day sitting or standing in the slouched forward position, your body gets very good at being in that position.
Unfortunately, it also gets really bad at doing any other movements correctly, such as:
- lifting weights
- picking up a bag of groceries
- picking up your kid
- throwing a football
These are all motions that can eventually become difficult as your body puts less and less energy into keeping your shoulders healthy.
Another way to look at this is from a structural standpoint. Your shoulder joint (and all other joints) is primarily made up of cartilage, similar to what your nose and ears are made of.
Like the treads on your car tires, the cartilage in your joints only has a certain amount of use they can take before they start breaking down.
However, unlike your car tires, you can’t stop by the auto-shop and have them switch out your joints for new ones. And the stiffer your shoulders get from inactivity the more wear and tear you put on them.
You need your joints to last a lifetime. Yet many people spend most of their days treating their joints as if they’re disposable.
High quality, consistent movement is the vaccine for this epidemic.
The more often you move throughout the day, the better you are going to feel.
Here are three exercises you add to your routine to get your shoulders moving again:
#1 Foam Roller Angel
It is extremely important to follow the cues Dr. Brink is giving Sal in this video.
Focus on going slow enough to keep your body in proper alignment during this exercise.
Shoot for doing 1-2 reps of this exercise as often as you can throughout the day.
#2 Banded Traction
Aim for going through this sequence of stretches for a few minutes as often as you can throughout the day.
#3 Quadruped Position with External Rotation
Again, shoot for doing 1-2 reps of this exercise as often as you can throughout the day.
With all of these exercises, focus on making them slow and controlled doing your best to avoid too much compensation from other body parts.
For more advanced training exercises for the shoulder, check out this awesome article by Meghan Callaway.
Conclusion: How are these working for you?
Are you feeling any better from doing these exercises? Does one work better for you than others?
Have any specific topics you’d like covered in a future article?
Let me know in the comments below!
Have questions about any new or recurring pain?
Request an appointment with Dr. Brink!
He is available for in-office, house-calls, and virtual appointments.
You don’t need to live in pain! Let us help you move well and pain-free.