After spending the entire day hovering over your computer or cellphone, your shoulders are probably begging for a bit of relief. Good news: One way to help reverse the effects of all of those tech habits, like tightness and pain, is to incorporate more shoulder-opening moves into your daily routine. That’s why I’ve created a number of effective and feel-good shoulder stretches and exercises for B The Method, a fitness method I founded.
Below, I’ve put together five of my favorite shoulder-opening moves that I regularly recommend to clients (including mbg co-founder and co-CEO Colleen Wachob). You can easily do all of these beneficial stretches and exercises at home—all you need is a yoga mat and a Pilates ball. Now, it’s time to show those shoulders a bit of love.
Time: 10 minutes
Equipment: Pilates ball, yoga mat
Directions: Move from one exercise to the next, resting as needed. Complete the indicated number of sets and reps, until you’ve completed all moves.
1. Kneeling swimmer
How to: Start by kneeling on your mat. Hinge at your hips and bend forward slightly. Keeping your core tight and torso still, extend your arms out in front of your body. With control, circle them to the sides of your body, then behind you—like you’re swimming. That’s one rep. Complete 3 sets of 10 reps.
2. Kneeling dip
How to: Start by kneeling on your mat, with your hands at your sides. Hinge at your hips, and bring your butt down toward your heels. At the same time, extend your arms upward and in front of your body. Reverse the movement, bringing your arms slightly behind you as you thrust your hips forward slightly. That’s one rep. Complete 3 sets of 10 reps.
Hip thruster with ball
How to: Start in a reverse tabletop position, with your palms down and fingertips facing your feet. Place a Pilates ball in between your knees. With control, slowly lower your butt until it nearly touches the ground. Reverse the movement and return to start, pressing your chest upward and stretching your shoulders at the end. That’s one rep. Complete 3 sets of 10 reps.
4. Reverse extension with ball
How to: Start by sitting on the ground, with your legs extended in front of you on the mat. Place a Pilates ball about 1 foot behind your torso, and place both palms on top, fingertips facing away from you. With control, slowly lower down, pressing the ball a few inches backward. Return to start. That’s one rep. Complete 3 sets of 10 reps.
5. Restorative back stretch
How to: Place a Pilates ball underneath your upper back—the bottom of the ball should be approximately at your bra line. Lie backward, draping your upper body over the ball, arms extended, palms facing upward. Stay in this position for 30 seconds to a minute.
Author: Lia Bartha
Source: Mind Body Green: 5 Exercises & Stretches To Help Open Up Your Shoulders