Exercises for combatting rounded shoulders.

Shoulders are one of my picky points. Why? Well firstly because I have had to really work on mine. They have always been a sticking point for me, I remember a Pilates teacher walking down the road with me once saying “Shoulders down” every 2 steps! Carrying, feeding and rocking babies always affects my shoulders and upper back. So I guess you could say I’m a bit picky about shoulders as I know how much it poor posture in this area can affect you.

I would encourage you to look in the mirror at your posture, side on and front on.

1. Are your shoulders level?

2. Are your shoulders rounded?

3. Can you slide your shoulders further down in your spine, so are they too far up towards your ears?

4. Do you stick your ribcage forward? (Ladies, no boob thrusting is needed!)

Here are some exercises to help you strengthen your upper back and focus on your shoulders.

Really good if you sit at a desk for some time and know your shoulderes are suffering. Also brilliant for mums who are feeding, carrying, rocking babies and babywearing.

Strong Sides, Strong Cores.

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been shifting the focus in my classes. We’ve focused more on the sides of the body, thinking about these being “long and strong”, about them being “heavy and holding you down on the mat” and about “lifting from the sides of the body”.

It’s been an interesting experiment and has led to some great feedback of people feeling they have worked harder or reporting their obliques have been aching a couple of days after class.

Sometimes we can over-focus on the core muscles and forget about the rest of the body. Bringing that body awareness to the obliques just makes the exercises slightly different and can make you more effective.

So if you want to try a slightly different emphasis give it a go…. even in your day to day activities focus on keeping the sides of the body and the waist muscles lengthened, tall and strong. Think about not “squidging” in the sides but standing tall. Draw in the core muscles as well and see how you feel.

Muscles of the Trunk

The Diamond Press.

One of our new exercises from last night! This works the upper back and helps with shoulder stabilisation. Imagine you are pushing a marble along the floor with your nose as you do it.
The Diamond Press:- Start Position
  1. Lie on your stomach with your feet hip width apart, toes together and heels apart.
  2. Make a diamond shape with your arms by touching your finger tips and thumbs together just under your forehead, elbows out to the side.
  3. Anchor the scapulaes, stabilise the shoulders.
The Diamond Press:- Action
  1. Engage the core muscles.
  2. Breathing out:  Lift your head about 3 cm off the floor. Keep the back of the neck long – Really make and effort to lengthen your head away from your shoulders but remember to keep the neck in line with the rest of the spine, you are not looking up. You should feel a pinching feeling between your shoulder blades and be drawing them down as you lift.
  3. Breathing In: Lower down.
The Diamond Press:
Start PositionDiamondPressStrt