Roll 'em Roll 'em Roll 'em

Last week we used our spikey balls to release shoulder tension at the wall (targeting upper back and chest) - and there were some fantastic displays of creative movement that led to great releases (and quite a few 'aha' moments). So balls aren't just for feet or for Christmas either - use them often for best results. Here are some other exercises you might like to try. Remember to go gently. Everyone is different in the tensions that they hold and even that changes from day to day.

Speaking of shoulders, did you know that your shoulder movement is hugely tied up with what's going on with your shoulder blades? That's why we love our rhomboid pushups and why they feature in all sorts of ways, even standing up. There are actually a lot of muscles involved in moving the shoulders;

  • the muscles that connect the trunk to the shoulder blades (scapula)
  • the muscles connecting the shoulder blades to the upper arm  (the humerus)
  • the muscles connecting the trunk to the upper arm

Did you notice that the shoulder blades came up twice? 17 muscles attach just to them! Even so it can be tricky to isolate the shoulder blades. They tend to be particularly stuck and the ribs want to lead the way. Our shoulders tend to be a bit starved of love with limited reasons to lift our arms up above our heads during the day, and a tendency to push our ribs out in front to cope with the accumulated tensions. To make daily shoulder love a bit more practical we've done this combo in class - a standing plank with rhomboid pushups and and active thoracic release. Follow it or precede it with the upper body release. Try a few sets and see how things change. Go gently (form comes first) and often for best results.