Quick question for you about your arms and upper body…
When was the last time you took your arms overhead, e.g., reached for the ceiling or tried to touch the door frame as you walked through?
Has it been a while?
Go ahead and try it right now.
Lift your arms and reach like you’re trying to touch the ceiling, really go for it.
Notice your ribs.
Are they thrusting forward as your arms reach?
How about your shoulders? Did they lift up toward your ears?
Okay, rest your arms and shake them out a bit.
Now reach up again and really go for it, but this time keep your shoulders and ribcage down.
Not able to reach as high with your ribs and shoulders down?
For many of us, lifting the arms has become unconsciously combined with raising the shoulders and thrusting the ribs.
When you raise your shoulders every time you lift your arms, you’re using your neck muscles, contributing to chronic neck tension.
And thrusting the ribs pulls the ribcage forward, inadvertently using your spine to lift your arms instead of your shoulder joint—which contributes in turn to tight, immobile shoulders.
Learning to lift your arms on their own without simultaneously thrusting your ribs and raising your shoulders is an entirely different movement for your shoulder joints and spine.
And you may not be able to reach up as high at first, but this will improve with practice.
Check out this video to see if you’re lifting your arms, thrusting your ribs, and raising your shoulders as a unit, and learn more about how adding a simple movement throughout your day can help you create more ease in your upper body.
I’d love to hear what you discover. Let me know in the comments below.
With arms up and ribs down,