Relieve Neck Pain and Strengthen Arms with a Simple Cue


Today’s video is for you if you’re looking for:

  • Relief from chronic neck tension

  • Enhanced balance in arm strength and tone during exercise

  • Arm work that’s more than just working on your arms

You don’t wanna miss this one; it’s kind of a big deal!

Years ago, this cue helped me click my mid-back connection into place for the very first time.

I used to unconsciously rely on my neck and shoulders to operate my arms for everything I did, and it created A LOT of pain and tension.

One time, the pain got so severe it landed me in the emergency room.

I even tried low-grade muscle relaxers for years, and they barely touched the tension.

All the while, I was clueless about the vital connection between my arms and my mid-back.

(Most people don’t know about this connection. They didn’t even teach it during my Pilates certification. In my opinion, it’s a blind spot in the fitness world.)

When I learned this cue and felt it in my body, a light bulb went on, and relief washed over my neck and shoulders.

For the very first time, I was using my arms, and I didn’t feel my neck tightening up.

This cue is the tip of the mid-back connecting iceberg, but it will have your neck and shoulders sighing with relief.

After you check it out and give it a try, I’d love to know how it goes. You can tell me in the comments below the video.

With a heart-filled mid-back connection,

P.S. If you want more simple and effective ways to fine-tune how you move so you can keep doing the things in your life you love with more freedom and ease, make sure to check out the Pilates Tonic Online (PTO) membership.

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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 See you in the studio!

4 Responses

  1. Hi, your videos are full of great information. Are our arm veins suppose to always be facing forward? Should we always have our arms this way when doing activities to keep the strain off the neck?

    1. Thanks for your great question, Wendy! The cue in this video is more specific to exercise, but the direction the elbows face when hanging by the sides gives a lot of information about the current state of someone’s shoulder alignment and what exercises would be beneficial.

  2. Hi Sydney, thanks for this. As part of my own pilates certification (and I know every course is different) my teacher always emphasised elbow crease facing each other to prevent elbow injuries and locking the elbows if we push them forward like you mention. Is there any other way to engage the mid back without having to go into this position?

    1. So good to hear elbow alignment was incorporated into your training, Q. A great way to add nuance to elbow placement is by checking where the placement is coming from. Is it just the upper arm bone and elbow itself (which makes some people lock out the elbows even more), or is the movement being driven from the midback?

      Elbow alignment, especially when the arms are hanging by the sides, is an indicator of what’s happening in the shoulders and shoulder blades. So it’s a really helpful place to start when helping someone find their midback.

      Ribcage alignment is vital to the mid-back connection too.

      The video linked below goes into a bit more detail about ribcage alignment. (It’s a long one!)

      And this one goes through one of my favorite mid-back connecting exercises:

      Thanks for sharing your feedback and questions!

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