As modern-day humans, we spend the majority of our days with our arms straight out in front of us, and our shoulders rounded forward. Think about it—typing on your keyboard, driving your car, washing your dishes, tying your shoes, walking the dog—your arms are out in front of you all day long.
And I’m sure your shoulders are creeping up to your ears, too (don’t worry, everyone does this).
If you don’t use it, you lose it
Most people’s shoulder blades are somewhat “glued” to their backs. Their bodies are used to not having to move them in many ways, so they stiffen up and settle in to a new position.
If you revisit my post on cortical maps (or how your brain maps your body), you’ll see how body parts can become mapped together in the brain, through lack of use.
But if you use it, you can get it back
This “new position” your shoulders have settled into doesn’t have to be permanent. We can bring back movement that was lost, through some simple movement exercises, that help to rewire your brain and nervous system.
This exercise below is one of my favorite ways to wring out tension in my shoulders, and allow my shoulder blades to move how they were designed to move.
In this exercise, you want to keep your shoulders back and down. The pace will be slow, allowing your brain and nervous system to have time to respond to your movement cues.
Do your best to not touch the back of your head, or lower back.
If you feel your head pulling forward, reduce your range of motion a bit. There’s no need to do it perfectly the first time. You can gradually work your way up.
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Who is Kristen Stephen?
Kristen Stephen is a bodyworker, practicing integrative manual therapy, in Nederland, Colorado. Her mission is to help people live lives with less pain and more joy.
Please note, all material on this website is for for educational and informational purposes only, and should not be taken as medical advice.
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