In yesterdays post, I put up some before and after pictures of a client of mine. She’s been working incredibly hard and it has paid off in huge way. If you haven’t checked out that post yet, go here.
WordPress lets me know how people find my blog, whether it’s through Facebook, email, different searches, etc. I noticed yesterday that some people had found my site through a website I hadn’t heard of. It turns out it’s a blog based on support for people who are in a relationship with someone with epilepsy. It’s also ran by a guy I knew back in high school. He had linked my blog to his site and had some very kind words to say about what I’m doing. I found his perspective very interesting and enlightening. If you’re like me, you know very little about epilepsy, let alone the true impact it can have on individuals and their families. You can check out the blog here.
I don’t have any official statistics for this statement, so just know this is coming solely from my observations. The most common joint pain that I see is in the low back (lumbar spine). Followed by either the knees or the shoulders. The scapulae (shoulder blade) is a joint that needs a good deal of stability to function properly, as well as allow the joints next to it to function properly.
One of the best ways I’ve found to encourage/teach stability in the shoulder is the Scapular Wall Slide. I use these very regularly with my clients as well as myself. This seemingly simple movement can actually be incredibly challenging until you learn to properly stabilize the shoulder blade. Here’s what it looks like:
(The sweaty armpits are optional.)
This movement also encourages good posture, increases shoulder flexibility and “wakes up” the middle of your back, which tends to be a weak spot for people in general.
When performing this movement, think of tucking your shoulder blades in your back pockets. This will be easy to do on the way down, but the challenge comes on the way up. You will most likely feel like you’re fighting with yourself as you try to raise your arms and keep your shoulder blades down. That’s OK, at first. You will want to continually gain control of your shoulder blades through this movement.
Also, keep your hands and forearms as flat against the wall as you can.
You can use these as part of a warm up or within your strength training routine. You can even do them randomly throughout the day to continue to encourage good shoulder health.
I perform these in sets of 8-10.