Let’s Rip the Muscles
By Sharon Truelove
For many, when starting an exercise program, we think of working on the larger muscles that we see and ignore the smaller ones that we don’t see (usually postural muscles that help stabilize us and also aid the dominant muscles). This approach to exercise can lead to unbalance…certain muscles tighten while others weaken.
Deep neck flexors are commonly neglected (Longus Capitus and Longus Colli). Hours of staring a computer monitor may cause chin jutting. A simple exercise to help relieve this particular tension is a “chin tuck”.
Place your hand behind your head (you may also use a towel). Retract the chin so that your head pushes into your hands (or towel). Hold 5-10 seconds/repeat 2-8 times.
The trapezius is divided into upper, middle and lower. Because we may set for long periods (usually with poor posture), the middle and lower part of the traps may weaken
A good exercise for this area is to lean over a ball (or just bend over) & put your hand at 10 o’clock & 2 o’clock, thumbs up, lift the arms up without moving your body. Push your tongue into the roof of the mouth to help stabilize the neck. Range of motion should be no more than 4”-6”. Repeat 2-8 times.
For Serratus Anterior, Locate a window ledge, cabinet or chair. Place hands a little wider than shoulder width. Maintaining a straight line from head to heels, collapse the shoulder blades, then push out without moving the elbows. Repeat 12-20 times.