Functional assessment and dynamic, informed treatment. It’s healthcare, for your muscles.

    Five Easy Shoulder Stretches to do at Home

    Considering the amount of time many of us spend either at our desks on our computers, using our phones, or carrying heavy bags and purses, it’s not surprising that many of our clients come to us with neck and shoulder tension. Shoulder and neck tension also play a part in some types of headaches.

    The shoulder is a large and complex joint, made up of three bones: the clavicle or collarbone, the scapula or shoulder blade, and the humerus or upper arm bone.  The stability of the area comes from the many muscles which makes up the shoulder which you can see in the image below:


    If we overuse, or misuse, these muscles in one or more areas, we are left with a soreness and sometimes also a limited range of motion.

    Here are some easy shoulder stretches which you may do anywhere to help keep your shoulder healthy. To get the most benefits, you should do each stretch for about thirty seconds, and repeat the series three times.

    1. Eagle Arms

    Extend your arms straight in front of your body. Drop your left arm under your right.

    Bend your elbows, and then raise your forearms perpendicular to the floor. Wrap your arms and hands, and press your palms together (or as close as you can get them). Lift your elbows and reach your fingertips toward the ceiling. Keep your shoulder blades pressing down your back toward your waist.

    If your palms don’t touch, press the backs of your hands together, instead, or hold onto a strap. Repeat on the other side.

    1. Cow Face

    Reach your left fingers between the shoulder blades, and reach your right hand around the back to grasp the left fingers. Gently pull the arms towards each other. Hold for five breathes and repeat on the other side.

    If your arms don’t reach (which many of us with tight shoulders will experience), use a strap! Hang the strap over your left shoulder, bring your right hand toward the middle of your back. Reach your left hand between your shoulder blades and grab onto the strap with both hands. Repeat on the other side.

     

    1. Wall stretch

    Stand in front of doorframe bend elbow at 90-degree angle and place palm against doorframe. Move forward to stretch rotator cuff.

     

    1. Scapular Setting

    While doing this pose, focus on isolating your shoulder blades and not just moving your shoulders up and down.

    Start in a comfortable standing position with arms at your side. Move your shoulder blades up, then out (pushing away from your body), then down

     

    1. Neck stretch

    Using shoulder position from the scapular setting, lower you chin down toward your chest and feel the stretch throughout the back of your neck. Then lower your right ear to your right shoulder, holding for five breaths. Repeat on the left side.

     

    Doing these stretches once or twice a day will go a long way in keeping your shoulders feeling healthy!

    Advanced Lunging Hip Stretch

    Chronic tension in the muscles at the front and sides of the hips can contribute to low back pain and poor posture.  This stretch is particularly helpful for hip flexor contracture and ITB syndrome when combined with glute strengthening exercises.  Changing toe positions of the back foot helps target different muscle fibers for a more complete stretch!

    Stand in front of a chair, take a small step back with the leg you want to stretch, then place the opposite foot onto the chair so that you are standing in a lunge position with the forward leg elevated.  The toes of both feet should be facing forward.  Press your hips forward and tuck your tailbone under, increasing the stretch felt in the front of the hip of the back leg.  Hold for thirty seconds, then return to standing.

    Repeat the stretch again, this time with the toes of the back foot pointed out away from your midline. The stretch should be felt along the bikini line and into the inner thigh.  After 30 seconds, return to standing again and reposition the toes of the back foot pointing in toward your midline . Being careful not to lock the knee, once again place the opposite foot on the chair in front of you and press your hips forward, tucking the tailbone.  This time the stretch will be felt along the front and outside of the hip.  Release after 30 seconds and repeat all three stages on the opposite hip.

    Alycia Duff-Bergeron, Founder and Clinic Director

    When I opened Anatomica in 2013 as my private practice, I was committed to offering an unsurpassed level of service and care to every client.  Today I have the pleasure of working with a skillful team of therapists and administrative staff that are equally committed to raising the bar in their fields and providing exceptional treatment. Our therapists are dedicated, professional, and focused on your health. Anatomica proudly offers some of the most effective manual therapy and functional assessment techniques, performed by therapists with several years of practical experience, all of whom demonstrate a considerable effort to further their educations and understanding of current treatment protocols. We invite you to visit Anatomica to experience effective, personalized healthcare in an inclusive space, staffed by practitioners that are setting a new standard of professionalism. We are Anatomica. Welcome.