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6 Moves To Shrug Off Shoulder Pain
Quick, stand in front of a mirror and lift your arms straight overhead. Now, turn to the side. What do you see? If your arms aren’t directly above your shoulders and extended fully, or if you felt any sort of popping or pain in either of your shoulders when you reached for the sky, we’ve got some surprising news: Your shoulders are aging you. (Find out how old your body really is here.) Not only will stiff shoulders add to the office hunch, but they’ll also increase your risk for shoulder pain, something up to 25% of the people suffer from, according to a report from the American Family Physician.
Reduce your risk of pain and injury with these 6 simple moves from trainer Bruce Mack, cofounder of MBSC Thrive Functional Training. They’ll loosen your shoulders and correct improper movement patterns so you’ll feel better throughout the day and reduce your risk of pain or injury during exercise, says Mack. Aim to do them at least 3 times a week for the best results.
1. Foam RollerUpper Back
Lie on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat on floor, with the foam roller positioned under your upper back. Place your hands on your ears, elbows pointing toward the ceiling and as close together as possible. Roll from the upper part of the back to the mid-back, being careful not to roll onto your neck. Continue rolling back and forth for 30 to 60 seconds.
2. Floor Slides
Lie faceup on the floor with your knees bent and heels down (your toes should be curled toward your shins). Position arms on floor so that elbows are bent at 90 degrees and in line with shoulders, arms and back of hands should be in contact with the floor. Keeping your arms, lower back, and back of hands in contact with the floor, slide your arms overhead, bringing hands almost to touch. Take a deep breath at the top of the movement, and then slowly slower arms back to starting position. Do 8 reps, moving very slowly and with exaggerated breathing (exhale as the arms go above the head and inhale as they lower to the shoulders.) As your range of motion increases, you can do this move standing with your back and arms against a wall.
MORE:10 Moves For Tight, Painful Hips
3. Lat Stretch on Floor
Kneel on the floor with arms extended, palms flat on floor. Walk both hand to the left. Press palms firmly into the floor and sit back onto your heels to feel a stretch in your lats. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds. Repeat on opposite side.
4. T-Spine Rotation
Start on all fours, wrists under shoulders and knees under hips (if you’d like, you can place a foam roller across your calves; squeezing it between your calves and thighs will help you balance). Place your left hand on your temple, elbow pointing toward floor. Keeping your core engaged to help you balance, rotate your upper back, shoulder, and elbow toward the ceiling. Hold for 1 count, then reverse the move, bringing your left elbow toward your right elbow. Do 6 reps. Repeat on opposite side.
5. Tall Kneeling Anti-Rotational Press
Attach one end of a resistance band to a secure anchor at about waist height. Holding the opposite end of the band in both hands, come to a tall kneeling position with your body turned 90 degrees from the band’s attached point. Starting with your hands close to your body at chest height, press them straight out in front of you until arms are fully extended. Do 3 sets of 8 to 12 reps.
6. Half-Kneeling Band Row
Attach one end of a resistance band to a secure pole or doorjamb. Facing the secured band and holding the free end of the band in your left hand, get into a half-kneeling position with your right knee bent at 90 degrees and positioned over your right ankle. Extend your left arm at chest height (you should feel manageable tension in the band; if it’s too tight or too lose, move closer or farther away from the secured point) and bring your right hand beside your chest, elbow bent behind you. Then, bend your left arm and pull the bands toward your midsection, keeping the elbow close to your body, as you extend your right arm in front of you at chest height. Do 3 sets of 8 to 12 reps.
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