How To Do Dr. Rolf’s Famous Arm Rotations

January 24, 2015

(0:00) So now I’m going to show you Dr. Rolf’s arm rotations
(0:04) which are a fabulous way to balance out the shoulder girdle,
(0:07) For example, if you have a forward rolled shoulder or if
(0:11) you have rotator cuff injuries or excessive tightness in the tripezius up
(0:17) here into the neck, neck tightness, chest kind of forward, collapsed
(0:24) situation, this is a great exercise for that to help balance out the
(0:27) shoulder girdle because then the shoulder girdle is balanced, the upper spine has to
(0:31) release and can operate independently and yet in an
(0:34) integrative fashion with the shoulder girdle
(0:37) rather than having them locked together and kind of working
(0:41) against one another. So here is goes. So start with your hands –
(0:48) actually, notice my hands are palm up, now I’m going to take my thumbs
(0:52) all the way towards the floor, arms are straight out, I
(0:55) project my arms, but I keep them straight. Now I’m just going to
(0:58) slowly bring them up. I’m keeping my shoulders on the table. I don’t want my shoulders to lift, I want them to
(1:03) stay back. That keeps my shoulder
(1:07) girdle balanced while I go through the range of motion. So I slowly bring these
(1:11) toward the center, touch the pinky, and back down. You’ll notice that
(1:16) one arm wants to go faster than the other. One arm may straighten
(1:19) more easily than the other, that’s okay. And then you simply turn your hands towards the ceiling,
(1:25) so you’ve done thumbs down, now your hands are towards the ceiling. Slowly come up. This is a slow and mindful
(1:31) movement rather than a fast movement. You’re not trying to build strength. You’re really trying to
(1:35) rework the neurological pathways here – the instructions that your brain use to tell your
(1:45) body what muscles to tense. Now I point my thumbs towards
(1:49) the ceiling and I bring my arms up to the center again and back down. And then I have the back of my hand
(2:00) towards the ceiling and I slowly come up and down. Now, mind you, when I’m
(2:11) rotating my arm, I’m rotating my arm from the humerus here rather than from just the hand itself.
(2:19) So now I’m going to turn my thumb towards my ceiling again, I rotate from the humerus,
(2:25) not from the lower arm, but from the upper arm. And down. And palm up and down. And thumbs towards the floor, pinky towards the ceiling, and up and down.
(2:57) And that’s one set. That basically constitutes one set. You go back, starting here,
(3:05) thumbs down, palms up, thumbs up, back of the hand up, thumbs up,
(3:11) palms up, thumbs down – that’s one set. And you want to take yourself through a minimum
(3:18) of five sets at a time. This is, again, not a strength
(3:22) building exercise. It’s really an awareness exercise and it’s a neurological
(3:26) repatterning exercise. That’s where it’s real use comes in balancing out the shoulder girdle.
(3:33) Now you can do more – five or ten sets, that’s fine. For best results, I recommend doing this
(3:38) every day. Consistency is the best. If you do twice a day, great! But once a day in the morning or at night
(3:45) is actually really well. I would do it in the morning because that would set you up for the
(3:49) day and set you up to also relieve some of that upper back pain that could
(3:53) happen and conversely pain all the way down to the lower back or tightness.
(3:57) So give it a try! They’re wonderful! Dr. Rolf spent time
(4:01) pulling these things out. She only had a couple of exercises that she recommended
(4:04) and this is one of them: her famous arm rotations.

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