How To Tame Kyphosis and Upper Back Tightness

February 14, 2015

(0:01) Here’s another great exercise for
(0:03) freeing up the shoulder girdle,
(0:06) opening up the upper spine, and relieving stress and strain on the upper spine.
(0:10) It’s actually really good one – very simple and straightforward.
(0:14) I’m going to just show you now. So, you start out with your arms
(0:18) perpendicular to the body, hands up.
(0:22) I make a fist. It’s a very loose fist,
(0:25) so I’m not tightening this at all. I’m not focusing on the fist. I’m just
(0:29) making a fist. Now, the points of
(0:33) contact here really are the outer
(0:39) elbow and in this case I’m on the table so
(0:42) it’s going to hit me about here, but it doesn’t matter if you doing exercise
(0:46) correctly this moves directly down into the table and there’s an
(0:54) action here or an opposing actions between pressing these down and you see how
(0:58) my sternum rises, my chest rises when I press these down, but pressing them down in such a way that it
(1:04) doesn’t rise and rapidly. So, I start out and I get kind of a feeling
(1:12) for it – I’m going to press and I’m going to
(1:15) release, and I’m going to press and I’m going to release, I’m going to press, I’m going to release, I’m going to press, I’m going to release, and press, and release, and then a little faster. I’m going to start pressing a little harder and faster. And then pretty soon
(1:27) just basically vibrating. And I do sets of 30. So they’re fast vibrations. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen –
(1:42) that fast. So initially, to get the feeling for it, you go one and two, and one and off, one and off, and two and off, and three –
(1:56) because see the tendency is for me to press the elbows in and the shoulders to rise off the table,
(2:01) but again here you are trying to release the shoulder
(2:04) girdle and the neck and this trapezius and the various associated muscles
(2:08) neurologically from hanging onto your body. So,
(2:12) the idea is that I should be able to do this and have the movement transfer right into
(2:17) my spine without lifting my shoulders, without causing it to curl
(2:20) forward into a kyphotic pattern – so not curling forward like this.
(2:26) So, light fist, and then you go into this – one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen, etc. Okay, so there’s set two. Now,
(2:38) the way I’m aligned, my body, my back is nice and flat on the table. You can do this on the floor.
(2:42) The floor is probably easier. Most of you have a floor. You may not have a table
(2:46) that you can use. My knees are bent, my feet are flat
(2:49) on the table, so if you’re on the floor, it’d be great.
(2:53) If you use a blanket or something, you want to have it spread all the way out so that
(2:58) you have the same height under your elbow as you do under your
(3:01) back and under your hips and feet. So you want to be at one height. You don’t want to
(3:05) have a yoga mat under your body and then not under your arms. It makes a difference and it’s slight,
(3:13) but even that slightly different geometry is going to make it more difficult.
(3:17) So to make it easiest, you start on a very flat surface. Now, later on you might lower it but,
(3:23) that’s really not the object of what we’re doing here. I’m really trying to neuromuscularly change the
(3:31) tensioning pattern the brain is putting on my shoulder girdle. So here I go with another set. I’m just going to release my shoulders down
(3:39) so that the scapula, the shoulder blades go down towards my feet and they come together so I’m not spreading – down and they come together.
(4:02) I go to 30. So three sets of these. Again, if you want to have a
(4:07) stronger effect, I would say go four or five. Combine this with the snow angels, combine this with the arm
(4:14) rotations – you know, if you’re in pain, five sets of
(4:18) those should really make a difference for you.
(4:22) Plus, it’s a new way to move your body. You’ll find that when you
(4:25) start doing this, it’s going to be hard to loosen
(4:29) the action of your spine and just being able to vibrate it like this. You’ll find initially it’s
(4:36) challenging, but it’s something that will help you to release
(4:40) that area in your upper back. So have fun with it.

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