Got a hunch? Not in the good way, rather that slumpy-shouldered thing most of us have going on?
That hunchy thing makes our necks and shoulders hurt, does Bad Things to our breathing, and brings on headaches.
It doesn’t have to be that way. If you stretch the muscles in your chest, especially your pectoralis minor:
and the inside surface of your arms, especially your biceps brachii, it has a profound effect on your posture and relieves a lot of the tension you feel in your neck and shoulders.
Because, although the muscles in your back and shoulders are big and strong, and those in your chest aren’t, the way your chest and arm muscles connect to your skeleton gives them much more leverage. So if they are tight, you will hunch, and the muscles in your shoulders will eventually spasm with the effort of trying to pull your shoulderblades into a more neutral position.
Two of my fave stretches:
- No arching in lower back, keep base of ribcage lined up with top of pelvis
- No pinching on back of shoulder socket
- Torso ideally at 90 degrees to wall.
- Roll shoulders open
- Keep elbows bent to isolate stretch into front of chest
- No overarching in lower back. (see second image for what not to do)
Ahhhhh. And breathe, of course.