Hips Up…Shoulders Back!
Hips Up…Shoulders Back!
There are many reasons to keep your shoulders on your back. Even more reasons than the obvious: Because they belong on your back…not on your front.
One other great reason to keep your shoulders back: When you lift your hips up off the ground in any exercise, if your shoulders are not on your back, then you will use you neck to lift…and that’s bad for your neck. Sounds obvious, but almost everyone lifts her hips with shoulders forward and neck back. It’s got to be shoulders back and work hard to maintain the length and curve of your neck.
Maintain the curve of the neck? Yes. Your neck needs to keep it’s lordotic curve when you go over-head with your legs and hips. So what then supports you? Your shoulder blades!
Breathing, Shortspine, Longspine, Rollover, Jackknife, Corkscrew, Tower, Airplane and any other exercise where you lift your hips off of the mat must be with broad collarbones, shoulders on the back, maintain that curve in the back of the neck and keep the chin and eyes up to the ceiling. Do not lift up with your chin in your chest. Do not look at your hips while you are over-head. Do open your collarbones/get your shoulders on your back. Do look up to the ceiling. Do look at your feet. Again, I say, do not look at your hips. You will compress the front of your cervical spine and bear weight in your neck and head.
How did I learn this? Well…I kept wondering why my neck was continually going out. I knew that I had to use my shoulders to assist my over-head work, but I didn’t realize how much…and how I had to keep my chin up. I figured it out as I worked very hard to keep it all out of my neck.
So…Open your collarbones/find your shoulders on your back before you go to lift your hips and to do the action of lifting hips and to roll through your spine for the rest of any of the exercises. Basically…every part of this exercise needs those shoulder blades for support.
Yes, of course, every exercise ought to have shoulders on the back. But today we’re just talking about over-head work. And you’ll find that this support will save you and help advance you (and your clients).
You’ll find that you can’t lift as high as you have before. You’ll find that you can’t get your hips up as high…yet. As you practice these shoulder blades on the back for the lift, you will gain greater support and strength and find that with very little effort, far less than before, you will lift up high with great support of your shoulder blades rather than the support of your compressed neck!
Try it. Struggle through how difficult it will be at first. It will be humbling. Enjoy the strength you will develop!
***As always, if you have any questions about this or any other topic, please feel free to write to me or call me at the studio. If you have any topic you’d like me to blog about, let me know that, too! Enjoy!***
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