For those of us that spend hours hunched over laptops and desks will understand the constant shoulder tension we carry around as well as a noticeable rounding in our posture. However a few simple stretches will soon sort this out.
In the final part of The Bendy Series, yogi Claire Bell has helped put together a lovely stretch routine aimed at increasing shoulder mobility.
Claire is a true inspiration to all us wannabe bendy people so please show her your support by checking out her recent posts and following her Instagram for your daily fix.
Before stretching, it’s important to get your body warm and the blood pumping to prevent any injury. It’ll only take five minutes so find a space to begin.
- Wide arm circles squeezing the shoulder blades together
- Lift and drop your shoulders as quickly as you can
- Shoulder rolls
Now that you’ve lovely and warm, lets begin…
Basic Shoulder Stretch
Bring one arm across your body with thumb facing down. The other arm should firmly lock underneath securing the hold. Pull your arm close to your body until you can feel a nice stretch in your shoulder and hold for 20 seconds.
Release your arm and repeat but this time with your thumb facing down as this will rotate your shoulder. Make sure to do this on both sides.
Drop one arm behind your back with the elbow pointing upwards. Grab hold of your tricep (avoid tugging on your elbow) and pull it behind your head towards the opposite side. Once you feel a stretch in your tricep, hold this position for 20 seconds then repeat on the other side.
Top tip – Try to hold your own hand by joining them in the middle of your back (commonly knows as the cow face pose). You might only be able to do one side but that’s okay – it’s a good way to measure your mobility progression.
Wall Chest Stretch
Begin this stretch by facing the wall and keep your feet close to it. Place one arm against the wall and slowly twist your body around until you begin to feel a stretch. If you feel able, continue the twist to deepen it then repeat on the other side.
Standing Wall Stretch
Stand facing the wall and reach your hands up with forearms touching the wall. Step backwards and slowly begin to push your chest towards the wall as close as you can.
If this is too challenging then adjust your stance to allow your head to hang down facing your feet. By doing this you can work to get your chest to touch the wall.
For those of you that find this easy, take another step back, keeping your hands in the same place for a deeper stretch.
The aim of this is to get chin and chest to the floor!
Begin in childs pose, lifting your bum up and moving your knees closer to your chest. Do this nice and slowly until you reach your limit then hold for 20 seconds.
Variation – For an extra challenge, try reaching behind and holding onto the back of your thighs.
Backwards shoulder stretch
Sit with your legs bent and keep your hands close together (roughly shoulder width apart) then begin to slide them backwards until you feel the stretch. Hold for 20 seconds and if you feel confident, move further back for an even deeper stretch.
Folded shoulder stretch
Standing upright with your feet shoulder width apart, clasp your hands together behind your back and begin to fall into forward fold position. Pull your arms towards the ground and hold for 20 seconds.
Get into the bridge pose in whichever way feels comfortable then begin to gently rock forwards and backwards. Each time to rock forwards, push your shoulders over your hands – five to ten rocks then rest.
If you need more help with your bridge pose, then read more here
Practice this short stretch routine a few times a week and you’ll really feel the difference.