Standing Shoulder Stretches

Here is another series of exercises to restore your shoulders while reducing neck/shoulder tension and pain.

Don’t forget to practice good shoulder alignment as you flow through these.

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Stretching Routine Before Bed (or anytime really)

If you were to pick a few stretches to do daily, it would be the ones in this video. These stretches not only impact the legs but they enhance the function of the feet, the pelvis, the psoas, circulation–really they affect the whole body.

You can often find me doing these stretches while working on my computer or checking Instagram or Facebook. And yes, you will find half domes in several rooms of my house. This helps me to remember to stretch.

Happy stretching.

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Reduce your Rounded Posture – Restore Your Shoulders

10 years is a long time to deal with chronic shoulder tension, but no more. By practicing proper alignment of my shoulders and the following exercises I have been able to decrease the majority of my shoulder tension and have also decreased the amount of neck pain and headaches I used to get.

I practice these movements almost daily and have seen a huge improvement in the things I mentioned above and also the posture of my upper body.

 

 

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Chair Holy Yoga Flow

Start your day with a 10 minute Chair Holy Yoga Flow. This is a great way to wake up the body and also refresh your spirit.

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Align Your Shoulder – Restore Your Body

I have been dealing with shoulder and neck tension for over 10 years.  About 2 years ago, I was getting migraines due to all the chronic tension, along with always having constant pain in my shoulders.  Thankfully, I have discovered how to align my shoulders differently which has restored my entire body.  I no longer get migraines, I no longer have chronic shoulder pain, I no longer need to sleep with a pillow at night and I rarely have neck related pain.

The alignment of ones shoulders not only plays a role in the things I mentioned above but it also plays a role in a diastasis, wrist issues/pain and elbow issues/pain.  The body is a unit that works together so whatever the shoulders are connected to, can and are affected.

The below video shares how to align your shoulders without using the cue “draw your shoulders down and back” along with tips on how to effectively stretch your shoulders.

Related blog posts:

Conquering a Rounded Spine

Flatter Stomach by Improving Your Posture

My Case Against Pillows

 

 

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Conquering a Rounded Spine – Shoulder and Psoas Releases

Computers, reading and desks all cause us to round forward creating tight shoulders and a tight psoas.  Practicing daily shoulder openers and psoas releases are really important to combat our current “rounding forward” lifestyle.

The following video includes some really great stretches for opening up the shoulders and psoas.

In the video, I also talk about napping and how the psoas release can be a great time to breathe, meditate or even take a nap.

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Get your Butt Back

I’m a people watcher. When I watch people I am usually looking at their alignment and the dysfunctions that I can see in how they hold their body. One of the things that I am noticing over and over is that people are missing their butt’s. People’s pants sag down, their butts are flat instead of being round.

As I learn more about proper functioning of the body the more I learn about the butt.  If I were to pick 3 key areas of the body to work on daily it would be the feet, the core and the butt.

In my first blog post about the butt (glutes), I listed how important they are for correct alignment (posture) and how they are a key player in restoring a diastasis.  (Read Glutes – A Key Player in a Healthy Body now.)

The video blog below includes some of my favorite ways to strengthen your backside and build a nice rounded butt. You don’t need to do all these exercises everyday, just pick out 1 or 2 to do each day. We are all busy people; however this work should only take about 2-3 minutes of your time. Plus, this information can translate into how you get in and out of chairs and on and off the toilet, which will bring exercise into your daily life—and anytime you can do, the healthier you will be.

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Restore Your Shoulders

How many of you experience an ache in the middle of your upper back on a daily basis?  Or how many of you struggle with keeping your shoulders back, they just always seem to be rolled forward? If this describes you, and I am sure it does, I have a treat for you today.

The following twist with shoulder opener is my favorite chest opener ever. When I started practicing this on a regular basis the majority of my neck and shoulder tension/pain started to fade away.

This is one of the main stretches that I did to allow me to transition from using a pillow at night when I sleep to no longer needing a pillow. (You can read about my sleep journey to no pillows here and here.)

 

 

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Reclaiming your Core – Bridge Work

Bridge work is something that many of us have probably done somewhere along the way to strengthen our core.  However, bridge work is only effective for the if done properly.

Here are a few tips for doing bridge work properly:

  • Engage the bottoms of your feet. Your heel and ball of the foot should press into the floor and your arches should lift.
  • Gentle press your shoulders down into the floor and keep the neck long.
  • Draw your lower belly down slightly before you lift.
  • As you lift your hip, try not to clutch  your butt muscles. The glutes will be engaged to some degree but bridge work is not a glute exercise, it is a core exercise.
  • As you move into different levels of difficulty, keep the shoulders relaxed, keep the glutes soft and keep the pelvis aligned.

Now lets get started on reclaiming our core with these exercises.

P.S. My diastasis friends, these are perfect exercises for you!

 

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Glutes – A Key Player in a Healthy Body

During my research of a diastasis, I discovered that proper glute function is a key element of healing a disastasis. At first, this seemed odd to me as a diastasis is on the front side of the body, and the glutes are on the backside of the body. Why would something on the back side of the body impact something on the front side? The glutes act as a pulley system for the pelvis, thus minimizing how much the pelvis moves forward over one’s toes when standing.

glutes-lever

 

Click here to gain further information on how the glutes act as a lever to pull the pelvis back over the heels.

 

So, as we make our way in restoring, aligning, and reclaiming our bodies, you are going to become well acquainted with your butt (glutes).

Even if you think you have pretty good glute strength, don’t bypass this blog, because your glute strength is likely not as good as you think.

Try this. Stand sideways in a full length mirror. If you don’t have a full length mirror, have a friend evaluate you. When you stand, is the center of your pelvis over the heels or arch of your foot? If your pelvis is centered over the arch of your foot, you have glutes that are taking a vacation. (Note: Do you have flat feet, too? Our arches were not meant to carry the weight of our body, which causes them to collapse over time. Our heels were meant to carry our weight.

Here is your first video about restoring glute strength. Practice these exercises 2-3 times a week. It should only take you a couple of minutes. Go slow and be aware of your alignment as you move.

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