Hello everyone! Do you know how relieving it feels when we are able to use our arms in a way where they make a difference in the manner we reach out in Pilates exercises such as the Roll Up, Double Leg Stretch or Spine Stretch Forward?
Believe it or not, stretching our arms can really be relieving and furthermore allow us to express ourselves fully. So, how do we stretch our arms so they can make a difference in the way how we feel and experience ourselves and the world?
We need shoulder girdle stability;) This means that a correct arm extension comes from the ability of our shoulders to depress and externally rotate. For this to be possible there must be a certain level of internal and external mobility of our shoulder joint prior to achieving shoulder girdle stability, which is the foundation of a functionally extended arm. Let’s dive right into it.
I am going to show you a simple but effective learning tool that will help you to kinesthetically understand what an extended arm feels like.
Here we go…
Watch the video to familiarize yourself with our learning tool for your functionally stretched arm before reading our detailed instructions below.
Lie on your back with bent knees, turn your head to the right and move your knees to the left. Extend your right arm diagonally upwards out of your body. Place your left hand on your right shoulder blade.
Activate your DMCS – your Powerhouse – to flatten the right side of your belly to lift your ribs as you lift and internally rotate your right shoulder towards your cheek (see image below). Then release your right ribcage to drop and externally rotate your shoulder away from your cheek.
Do this a few times, rest and feel the difference. Repeat the same mobilization sequence with your left shoulder.
Use our coaching keys to go deeper into the shoulder girdle mobilisation exercise. Say to yourself and imagine …
• I allow my upper abdominal muscle to pull in as I internally rotate my shoulder.
• I relax the top of my shoulder before I externally rotate my shoulder.
Breathing to movement sequence
For an even greater shoulder mobilization, do the same exercise but breathe as follows. Internally rotate your right shoulder and inhale. Exhale and externally rotate your right shoulder, as you can see in the image below. Hold your breath as long as you can, then inhale, hold your breath again but this time only for 10 seconds and then exhale. Repeat the whole breathing-to-movement sequence 10 times. Fold your arms over your chest and rest. Repeat the sequence on the other side.
Expanded awareness in just a few minutes
The purpose of the shoulder mobilization learning tool is to provide you with a clear kinesthetic (muscle sensory) feedback of
• what a functionally extended arm is
• what a functionally extended arm feels like and
• how the connection of the functionally extended arm to the shoulder girdle (shoulder blade) and ribcage feels like.
And this is it again. I am confident that our learning tool will provide your arms with the agility, mobility and stability to reach out and express themselves freely and effortlessly. What do you think?
Try it & fly with it!
I hope you will find our blog post on arm extension useful somehow and try the shoulder mobilization exercise.
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