This Unconscious Shoulder Habit Could Be Causing Neck Pain


Milestones like New Year’s come with pressure to change old habits—like, say, eating microwave popcorn with M&M’s while binge-watching Letterkenny and The Witcher at night…

To new ones—like eating an apple and going to bed at 9 pm instead.

Snacking at night and staying up late are some obvious habits, but what about the ones you might not realize you have?

In today’s video, I’ll show you an unconscious shoulder habit that could be keeping your neck tight.

You’ll relieve neck tension by letting this habit go and also gain more muscle tone in your arms without adding extra exercise time to your day.

All you need is a little awareness.

After you check it out, I’d love to know what you discover; make sure to let me know in the comments below.

Wishing you more freedom, ease, and fun in your body than ever before!


P.S. If you like easy, sustainable ways to feel better and want to get more out of your daily movement habits, I think you’ll love the Pilates Tonic Online Membership.

The PTO Membership is a self-paced online program that will help you create a movement practice you can stick to.

Depending on your unique goals, this program will help you identify where it’s most important to focus and the exercises that will help you create the change that matters the most to you.

Registration opens for new members soon, and I’ll be back in your inbox then with all the details!



Hi, I'm Sydney and I'm a Restorative Movement Specialist here at Pilates Tonic. My goal is to empower you with tools to connect and live in your body in new and better ways. I'm a passionate advocate for wellness through optimally aligned movement and I look forward to designing a customized alignment and movement program just for you! If you want to find out more, just give me a call at 423.702.5233, or email me at [email protected] See you in the studio!

10 Responses

  1. Thanks for this Sydney. Really makes you aware of the arm-shoulder-back connection too. I felt my Lat area engage along with the side ribs when focusing on keeping that shoulder down!
    I’m going to send this to my daughter.
    Happy New Year.

    1. Fantastic, Dina; it sounds like you definitely found your mid-back connection! Thank you for your feedback, and thank you for sharing this with your daughter. Happy New Year!

  2. Where did you get your restorative movement certification? I am an advanced Pilates teacher classical in Nashville and am curious. This was very interesting!

    1. Hi Tracy! I’m a Nutritious Movement™ certified Restorative Exercise Specialist, and also have certifications in Pilates (most heavily influenced by Marie-José Blom), Fascial Stretch Therapy™ (FST), and Integral Coaching®. Restorative Movement is the name I gave the blend of work I teach. However, the information in this video is a combo of things I learned from Katy Bowman (Nutritious Movement™) and Marie-José Blom. Thanks for sharing, and thanks for your question!

  3. Thank you for your insightful body strengthening technique. It really worked for me as I sit at a desk/couch most of the day and do a lot of reaching, including moving my lap top from place to when I need to move locations.

  4. Hi Sydney,

    Is the goal to be able to completely lift your arm without lifting your shoulder? Is that possible?
    I love your site and always find your videos so informative. Thanks!


    1. Hi Beth! The short answer is yes. When the shoulders lift every time the arm does, there’s movement (and ultimately, strength) where the arm and body meet that’s bypassed. For many, arm and shoulder movement has become sort of clumped together, and separating the two can be very challenging at first. With practice, it gets easier, though! Thanks so much for your question and kind feedback!

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