Exercise 1: Static Stretching of Shoulders
The first exercise is called static stretching of shoulders. It involves holding a stretch position for several seconds with your arms straight out in front of you and then slowly lowering them back down to their starting position. You do not move your body during this procedure. If you are doing it correctly, the muscles will remain stretched but they will not contract or relax at all.
Static stretching of shoulders is very useful because it helps strengthen the muscles involved in maintaining a stable posture. Static stretches may also be used to prevent injuries such as strains, sprains and tears.
How to perform Static Stretching of Shoulders?
1) Stand up straight with feet shoulder width apart.
Keep your back straight and arms fully extended (fingers pointing forward).
2) Keeping your head still, slowly lower your arms until they are just outside of your elbows.
Hold the position for several seconds. Repeat this action several times, keeping your arms fully extended and using only one hand for each repetition. Do not let the other arm go past its normal reach.
3) Slowly return to standing upright with hands flat on the floor behind you.
Continue performing this sequence until you feel some mild discomfort in any part of your upper back or neck area.
4) After the discomfort has passed, perform the whole sequence over again.
5) To finish, stand up and move your arms around in large sweeping motions from the outside of your body to the inside and vice versa.
6) Stretch each arm several times until you feel a mild pulling sensation in your muscles.
Remember to continue standing straight with your back and keep both feet pointing forward on the same plane.
Exercise 2: Shoulder Blade Squeezes
This shoulder exercise focuses on the muscles located between your shoulder blades. You will need a comfortable chair and a table or other sturdy, flat surface that is approximately waist high (such as the arm of a sofa). If you are performing this exercise while reading, you may sit in a comfy chair with your feet on the ground.
Allow your arms to hang at your sides and keep your back straight while sitting or standing.
Bend your elbows and place the back of each hand on the respective shoulders (fingers pointing towards the spine). Slowly squeeze your shoulder blades together while keeping your upper arms still. Hold for a count of ten and then relax.
Shoulder blade squeezes can be done three to five times per day or at least one hour after performing any activity that utilizes your arms or shoulders. You should start to see an improvement in shoulder flexibility within two months.
Exercise 3: The Shoulder Shrug
The shoulder shrug is another exercise that can be used to strengthen your shoulder muscles and improve their flexibility. This exercise can be performed while reading, watching television or using a computer but it should not be done immediately before or after any other activity involving the use of your arms.
Holding a book, laptop or anything else you may be reading in your hands, let your arms relax down at your sides. Hold the book so that it is resting against the front your chest.
Slowly raise your shoulders as high as you can and hold them raised for a few seconds. If anything, push them just slightly higher than where they started.
Slowly lower your shoulders so that they return to their normal position.
Shoulder shrugs should be performed three to five times each day.
By the Way…
It is best to warm up before beginning any physical activity. Warming up involves moving your muscles slowly and gently. This helps to avoid strain and injury while also preparing your muscles for more strenuous activity.
A good rule of thumb when warming up is that if it doesn’t hurts, then you aren’t doing it right!
Never stretch cold muscles.
Before starting any exercise routine, be sure to consult your physician. He or she will be able to tell you if there are any limitations on the types of activity in which you should be participating.
Good luck and enjoy yourself!
“You’re looking a little pale,” Yin says, examining your face in between bites of a sandwich. “
Are you feeling well?”
“Fine,” you say, wiping a line of drool from the side of your mouth. You didn’t even realize you were doing it. “Just a little tired is all.”
Briefly glancing at the clock, you see that it’s nearly time for you to leave for lunch. Though you don’t want to, you know if you don’t eat anything now you won’t make it through the rest of the day. Throwing away your empty bag of chips, you replace it with a banana and devour it in a matter of seconds.
Yin asks, frowning at how fast you consumed your meager lunch.
“Yeah,” you smile, peeling and eating another banana. Yin shakes her head but refrains from commenting.
“Now that you’re feeling better, let’s get back to work,” Yin says. “
Shall we review what you’ve learned so far?”
You nod eagerly and take out your notebook and pencil.
“The most important thing to remember is this: Always be aware of where the exits are in any building you walk into,” Yin says. “It’s vital to your survival. Always have a back-up plan and always be observant.”
She then goes on to remind you of various techniques for escaping locks, holds, grabs, etc. You take notes fervently. Don’t want to forget any of this!
“Since you seem to have that all down, I think it’s time to teach you some actual self-defense moves,” Yin smiles. “
Are you ready?”
You nod eagerly, and she takes you through several Krav Maga techniques. She has you practice against her a few times, which is both painful and hilarious since she easily deflects your attacks and lands a few punches and kicks of her own. However, after an hour it actually starts to come together for you.
“Not bad,” Yin smiles. “It’s obvious why you chose the martial arts path. You’ve got natural talent.”
Sources & references used in this article:
Effectiveness of exercise programmes on shoulder mobility and lymphoedema after axillary lymph node dissection for breast cancer: systematic review by DNS Chan, LYY Lui, WKW So – Journal of Advanced Nursing, 2010 – Wiley Online Library
Isokinetic performance and shoulder mobility in elite volleyball athletes from the United Kingdom by HK Wang, A Macfarlane, T Cochrane – British journal of sports …, 2000 – bjsm.bmj.com
Mobility impairment, muscle imbalance, muscle weakness, scapular asymmetry and shoulder injury in elite volleyball athletes by HK Wang, T Cochrane – Journal of sports medicine and physical …, 2001 – researchgate.net
Immediate self-rehabilitation after open Latarjet procedures enables recovery of preoperative shoulder mobility at 3 months by S Roulet, F Borel, G Franger, JP Liotard… – Knee Surgery, Sports …, 2019 – Springer
The reliability and minimal detectable change of shoulder mobility measurements using a digital inclinometer by MJ Kolber, F Vega Jr, K Widmayer… – … Theory and Practice, 2011 – Taylor & Francis
Arm lymphoedema, shoulder mobility and muscle strength after breast cancer treatment? A prospective 2-year study by K Johansson, C Ingvar, M Albertsson… – Advances in …, 2001 – Taylor & Francis
Reliability and minimal detectable change of inclinometric shoulder mobility measurements by MJ Kolber, SB Saltzman, KS Beekhuizen… – … Theory and Practice, 2009 – Taylor & Francis
Shoulder mobility, muscular strength, and quality of life in breast cancer survivors with and without Tai Chi Qigong training by SSM Fong, SSM Ng, WS Luk, JWY Chung… – Evidence-based …, 2013 – hindawi.com