Leaning in (and out)

I'm always suggesting (ever so subtley) that it's what you do all day that really counts in your ability to move pain free. Here Glen shows us one way to change your habit and feel the benefit. This active sit means Glen is exercising while she sews.

In Glen's own words...."Dog on couch, stitcher on floor....so much more comfy for all of us....and no backache!!"

In Glen's own words...."Dog on couch, stitcher on floor....so much more comfy for all of us....and no backache!!"

The last few weeks we've worked on how we use our arms and how this has a huge impact on the function and the feel of our neck and shoulders.

In a typical western home and workplace there is a lot less call for generous arm movements than you might think. We don't typically have to swing an axe to keep warm. We don't usually have to reach to pick food from a tree or pull ourselves up off the ground to escape predators. If you think about it most of our arm movements are in a pretty limited range. Arms out in front, internally rotated shoulders and the fingers curling forward. In class I often say:

The movements themselves are not the bad guys. It's the limited range of movements and the ones we tend to get locked in that can cause the friction that leads to pain and dysfunction.

This is just one of the many reasons taking ourselves back towards hanging and climbing can be so key to our upper body function. And it's not just about your neck and shoulders. Hanging from your hands and reaching above your head can provide a natural tension release to the fascia of your thoracic cavity. That's a fancy way of saying that raising your arms up (gently and as you are ready) can take a load of your heart and your lungs - amongst other things.

When you are ready to move into hanging upper body work you can grab me before or after class to do some gentle warm up work on our bars - or even better, Nic has 2 shoulder workshops coming up where this transition will be our focus. Click here to read more. Nic's partner Graeme shows us below how you can get some upper body love into your daily life in many different ways! That's putting your MET card to good use Graeme!

Please progress to hanging and preparation for hanging only when you are truly ready. There is no rush, and for myself there were many months of calf stretch to enjoy before the monkey bars tempted me!