Does How I Use My Arms Even Really Matter?

If you happen to have a copy of Move Your DNA now is a great time to re-read Chapter 7: From Mouse Hands to Monkey Arms. There is some absolute gold in there. If you don't have a copy my favourite way to ingest this gem from Katy Bowman is to buy the talking book version and listen to it when you are out walking. She even tells you how many miles each chapter will have you covering  (Aussies can convert to km's of course!)

The way we use our arms is an important factor in neck and shoulder health. The arms spend a lot of time straight out in front of us, meaning other movements have become restricted. When you need to reach higher lifting the ribs gets the job done, but it doesn't help remedy the stickiness around your shoulder that can be contributing to tension and pain. Here's a key quote from the book:

"The use of the arms is particularly important both to making our body more usable and to the maintenance of the body's structure. Upper-body tone not only keeps the joints of the shoulders, elbows, and wrists stable and operating smoothly, optimal tension in this area is responsible for keeping the upper (thoracic) spine upright." (Pg 117, Move Your DNA, Katy Bowman)

One of my favourite ways to mobilise my arms while working on some very sticky parts of the spine is the Rhomboid Pushup. I've filmed a version of it for you that includes a more basic set (which is a great place to start) and then a second set where we start adding on some more layers, when you are ready.

Practice regularly and mindfully for best results (I've never seen a sporadic but vigorous practice get great results, slow and steady really does win the race when it comes to establishing healthy movement patterns).