Last issue, Feb/Mar, I talked about the importance of stretching and staying flexible to maintain function. I focused on stretches for the lower body. In this issue, we’re going to look at some upper body stretches.
First, remember to warm your muscles up. You can do arm circles to warm the shoulder joint. Shoulder rolls help to warm up the shoulder girdle (upper back). Shrug your shoulders toward your ears, then roll them back bringing your shoulder blades together, then dropping them down to where you started. Repeat.
Other things to consider is getting enough magnesium, which helps in contraction and relaxation of muscle tissue. Staying hydrated and getting enough healthy oils daily help keep your muscles lubricated & supple for easier stretching.
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Chest/Front of Shoulder Stretch: Reach back side-ways on the wall and lean in to feel a nice pull.
You can reach High, Med & Low for different chest fibers.
Rotator Cuff / Tricep Stretch:
Holding a band or towel vertically
behind the shoulders, pull up to stretch one side; pull down to stretch the other.
Side Shoulder Stretch:
Bring arm across chest, pull in toward your body, keeping your arm straight.To stretch the back of your shoulder, bring your arm up higher.
Bend over onto a chair, rotating the wrist outward. Lean back just enough to feel a pull. Rotate the wrist inward to stretch other side.
Lat Stretch (side of back):
Turn top arm in; grab doorway or pole; then pull back and lead with the spine keeping your back flat with butt out. Alternate side.
Opens the vertebrae, internal organs and arteries. (Without a ball, lay on the floor reaching arms out and feet away from center.)