Updated: Nov 12, 2020
Are you prepared to be able to reach your arms overhead at any age? Ready to test?
So many people I work with have lost their ability to reach both or one of their arms overhead without feeling some discomfort or limitation.
Do you want to assess your shoulder mobility to give specific plan for improvement? Schedule your Complimentary Discovery Call!
Start your test by standing in front of the mirror, squeeze a block between your inner thighs and keep your knees slightly - it will help you keep your pelvis stable. Start reaching your arms overhead without arching through your spine (be honest or ask someone else to witness).
Your have a great range of motion in your shoulders if you do not:
- Arch through the spine
- Reach your head forward
- Bend your elbows
- Move your arms away from the ears
- Feel tension or/and restriction
HOW DID YOU DO?
Great job if you replied no to all of the above!
WOULD LOVE FOR YOUR TO REPORT YOUR ANSWER!
Why reaching arms overhead is so important and super functional?
- Your can get something off the top shelf
- Wash your hair while taking a shower
- Hand clothes on the cloth line (if you still do that)
- Change your curtains
- Scratch your head or face
- Brush your hair
- Do down dog, plank and yoga transitions with ease
- Lift heavy objects over your head (maybe just weights)
Did I convince you?
Now a few more details:
If you want strong, healthy, stable shoulders you need to make sure you are connecting your upper body with your middle body (your core!).
Your shoulder is attached to your body by one single joint. The Sternoclavicular Joint (SC) joint.
The rest of the support comes from your MUSCLES!
This is why so many people have shoulder issues. It requires a tremendous amount of STRENGTH to keep your shoulder moving properly on your body.
But I do "shoulder exercises" and it doesn't seem to help.
This is because focusing just on shoulder muscles won't do the trick. The position of the rib cage plays a huge role. This means we have to think about breathing and core function in every single shoulder exercise we do.
Below, you can practice a challenging exercise to help you strengthen your shoulders to maintain your ability to reach overhead. If you passed the test above, an exercise in the video will take you to the next level. You should try. Follow my cues for more isolated work in the shoulders.
The position in the video is called the child's pose. If it is not appropriate for you, there are other variations. You can always schedule a complimentary assessment session with me to find a unique solution for your needs.
The child's position allows the upper body (thorax) to be in a position more advantageous for the overhead reach. Also, in this position, it is challenging to arch your spine to compensate for the shoulder range of motion. If, suddenly, your struggle to reach your arms, then ....... hmmmm........ Have i said already? Yes, schedule a complimentary assessment session with your Be Well Coach.
Another tip: if you feel comfortable in this position, stay here and try to breathe in the back of your body feeling it expand with each inhale. Then, try the arm reaching again.
This is great for anyone who:
1. Struggles with shoulder blades winging off their back
2. Tends to sink or dip when holding a plank or doing a pushup
3. Has a hard time coordinating their core with upper body movements
4. Finds that they arch their back when pressing or reaching overhead
5. Feels that they are hyper mobile in their shoulders
6. Complains of "poor upper body strength"
7. Has neck pain when doing a plank or push up