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to help you improve your posture
Tight Shoulders? Aching neck and shoulder muscles? Try this easy self-release technique to help free-up your tight chest/shoulder muscles. This particular exercise focuses on the Pec Minor, a muscle which elevates the shoulder and keeps it "hunched and forward", particularly when we sit at a desk too long. When released, you should notice the shoulder feels more mobile with less tension. This is a great release to try before a workout, or at any time of day. Do not proceed if pain is felt.
One my favourites! Try this side-lying foam roller Lat release. Reach the under side arm out overhead on the floor and split your leg stance to allow a comfortable range to roll. This rolling technique will help loosen up tight areas around your lats, rotator cuff, and triceps. Try this if you're feeling stiff and/or restricted through your mid-back and when your arms are in an overhead position. Great technique to add to your warm-up routine.
With a Power Band securely fastened to a bolted post, loop it around the leg closest to the post and place it up high near your hip joint. Stand sideways to the post, then get down into a "strider" position with the banded leg flexed and foot placed near the outer wrist (as best as you can). I like to bend my rear knee to rest on the floor if this feels particularly difficult to hold. With the power band holding tension, contract your thigh towards the midline for 3-5 seconds, then relax it to release the muscles. Do this about 5 times before repeating on the opposite side. You should notice the hips have a lot more room and feel more mobile once you've finished. The tension of the power band provides a lateral pull to the hip, helping the femur to increase space within the joint capsule. I like to do this before a workout to help with my Squat and Deadline range of motion, or if I'm feeling a bit stiff in the hips and low back. Its also great after a long work day or a long car or plane ride. Give it ago, but remember to stop if you are experiencing any pain.
Try to do this exercise with a slight posterior pelvic tilt and repeat for 60 seconds. This is excellent for training your glutes to maintain hip extension while also performing abduction. You might be thinking "HUH?".... this translates into strong, stable hips that help you perform other tasks more efficiently, such as walking, running, climbing stairs, and standing in line at the bank! Try it for 60 seconds, making sure to keep the ribs pulled in (not flared) and the arms/shoulders relaxed.
Using a power band to create some tension, use a "contract/relax" technique to help release some muscles through your mid-back and ribs. This is also a great tool to use for tight lower backs which can also cause increased tension through the ribs and shoulders. Try doing this on both sides; make sure that you are evenly spaced from the anchor so you can self-assess if one side is tighter than the other. This is great before a run, before a workout, or after a long day in the office.
The Triceps play a vital role in our posture, as do our Lats. This power band stretch/release will target both those areas in this overhead position, both of which can become quite tight from sitting all day. If you are fairly tight and sedentary, this position may not be very comfortable ...go into it slowly.
Another way to use a power band to help get you some more range through the chest and shoulders. This is a great way to open up the upper body after a long day at the desk, long day of travel, or pre-workout/pre-run. Position your legs to help lean into the stretch a little more. Also, try to rotate the palm up to the ceiling for more range.