Why is working on our range of motion important? As we age or have undergone a surgery, our bodies tend to tighten up and we lose flexibility. This lack of flexibility reduces our ability to move like we could before the surgery or when we were younger. We are starting a range of motion series focusing on simple, easy to do at home, movements that will help you improve your ability to move no matter your fitness level.
If you have a had surgery on the upper body, chances are you may have developed range of motion and posture issues. This stretch addresses both of those things.
For video instructions, click on the video below.
Start on a blank wall. Place your heals against the wall as well as your rear end. Make sure you are standing tall with your abdominals engaged. Press your shoulder blades against the wall followed by your head.
Once the back of the body is in place bend the elbows and open the arms so that the back of the hand is against the wall. This may be all you can do and that is fine. Try holding the stretch for 30 seconds to a minute. If you have more flexibility, while keeping the back of the hands against the wall, start to raise your hands higher. Try keeping your elbows against the wall as you raise your hands.
Once you find your place of tightness, hold the stretch. You can build on this stretch by slowly and gently lowering and raising your arms.
This stretch helps to regain flexibility in the shoulder girdle, it strengthens the upper back and it can help address postural issues. I recommend holding the stretch for 30 seconds to one minute. If that is not possible, do what you can until you have built up to 30 seconds.
Whenever you are stretching, find your place of tightness and hold the stretch. I don’t want you to feel pain when stretching, just tightness. Do this exercise a few times a day, (4 or 5 times).
Don’t be discouraged when you first start, you will see improvement over time, so keep at it and you will see results as your chest & shoulder strengthen and get more flexible. Keep up the good work, I know you will feel better when you are done.