Now with that title I could write this post heading in a totally different direction. If you’ve been following, you may have guessed that I do like food, especially the sweet stuff and yes ok my skinny jeans are getting slightly harder to pull on – I’m working on that. But this isn’t about my choice of clothing or what cake I put in my mouth recently (it was a luxury fruit toast actually).
This post is about my shoulders.
Yes, my lovely ‘tighter than my skinny girl jeans’ shoulders.
Now I don’t know if it happens to everyone, but I have noticed that a lot of climbers have shoulders that pull forwards. Mine are no exception.
Add that to the fact that I have a desk job for nearly eight hours a day and my poor shoulders really have no chance.
I have found that the combination of desk sitting and climbing has caused my once delicate shoulders to tighten like the lid of a jam jar. Apparently this is also afftected by a tight chest, making the whole area tight (no jokes please).
It gets to the point where it is actually difficult to enthusiastically wave at someone. Instead it results in a meagre shy waist wave (you know the type, where it looks like your upper arm is glued to your side and you can only wave with your forearm) Hello, hello there?! I’m waving!
Stand there now and raise your arm (either one it doesn’t matter). Notice where your arm is in relation to your face.
Is it next to your cheek?
In line with your nose?
Right back by your ear?
No-where near your ear?
Same ear, I mean same here! But I make a conscious effort to push my shoulders back and down, feeling the tension and the pull.
It got to the point where I felt it was affecting my yoga progression.
When in fact it probably felt so unnatural and stiff in the poses because they were actually helping me stretch my shoulders and chest.
So, with a little perseverance I can gradually feel my shoulders freeing. Poses have become ever so slightly more accommodating and my waves much friendlier!
There is still work to be done. I’ll be fighting a battle with my tight shoulders and chest for a while yet.
But in the meantime, let me share with you some of my favourite yoga poses that I feel help the tightness in my shoulders and chest:
With Chest Opener and Thread the Needle, repeat on both sides.
Another is to hold your arm in air for 20 secs (not a yoga pose but recommended by a fellow yogi) repeat with the other arm.
These moves are especially good to stretch out before and after a climb, act as a good stress reliever and I find them quite relaxing.
Remember not to push yourself to get into a pose. If it hurts and isn’t comfortable come out of the pose. You should feel relaxed but also feel it working, there is a balance between relaxation and pain.
Let me know if you have any tips for me yourself or if these helped you in any way.