I just got back from a Fitfluence event at the YouTube Space in LA. It was so much fun, I can’t wait to tell you more about it. Stay tuned for a recap sometime next week. 🙂
Today’s post is dedicated to the final video in the Pilates For Beginners series and it’s all about the shoulders.
Interesting facts about the “shoulder complex”:
- 10 different muscles contribute to normal movement and function.
- the ability to move your arm is often more related to your shoulder blade than the shoulder joint itself.
- the shoulder joint is the least stable joint in the body
- the shoulder blade is connected to the rib cage by 16 different muscles.
What is the shoulder?
Most of us think of the shoulder joint (glenohumeral joint) when we refer to the shoulder as a whole. But in actuality, the shoulder is a complex system.
The joint where the arm bone meets the collar bone is a “ball and groove” joint. Which means the arm bone rests on a shallow groove of the collar bone and relies on muscle to hold it properly in place (which why shoulder injuries are so common).
A key component that is often left out of the conversation is the shoulder blade, also known as the scapula.
The shoulder blades and collar bone make up the shoulder girdle.
How often do you think about your shoulder blades when you’re working out?
I find with many of my introductory level clients there is very little awareness of the movement and function of the shoulder blade. So my hope is to change that through simple exercises that will get you familiar with how your shoulder blades move and how it feels when they are stabilized and strong.
Cues to be careful with:
“Slide your shoulders down.”
While this cue can certainly be helpful at times, it’s important that you don’t overdo it. Pulling your shoulders down with force can cause impingement of the joint. So I think it’s better to think of the shoulder blades relaxed and heavy on the back.
Often pulling your shoulders back and together causes an unnecessary arch in the spine along with a loss of connection in the abdominals on the front side of the body. I prefer to have clients think of a wide collar bone and broad shoulders while keeping their rib cage balanced on the spine.
Shoulder blade movement:
The scapulae are connected to the back of the rib cage and can move in 6 directions as shown in the image above.
In today’s video we’ll go through a few exercises to feel these movements on the back and spend time strengthening in the shoulder through stabilization challenges.
Once you’ve completed this workout you will have successfully completed the Pilates For Beginners series!
Which means it would be a perfect time to jump into Pilates 4×4. We kick things off this Monday! 🙂
Enjoy your workout…
Do you have additional questions or video requests? Please let me know in the comments. I love hearing from you!
PS– You can sign up for the FREE 5-part Pilates For Beginners program here!
Sources: Hyashida and Associates