This one is a burner. Difficult to do alone, but incredibly effective for assisting in postural tensioning between the shoulders and the hips. Seriously, I have clients do this and they sweat, they shake, basically it is way harder than it looks.
WHY DO IT:
Because your scapulae only know how to move in certain positions. Chances are they can retract, or they can protract. Elevate, and depress. Most people have overly developed upper back and superficial shoulder muscles, whereas the smaller, deeper muscles are much more lost as to how to move and function. This standing technique is going to get those smaller shoulder muscles to integrate with your erector muscles and diaphragm to strengthen under-developed and weaker areas of your scapular joint.
You go to grab something, do something, and you can functionally succeed at this task. Your spine, arms, and shoulders let you do X– great. However, what happens if I start to take away your ‘comfort zones’ by making you be much more precise with the motions of your shoulder and arms? I bet, by bringing attention to spinal posture and scapular positioning, you will find more difficulty in performing equally as ‘easy’ movements as the ones you do every day.
This exercise is going to show you where you are in terms of your shoulder mobility and ability to maintain spinal integrity. The exercise is going to make your arms and shoulders feel ‘functionally inhibited’ because you have certain kinetic chains that aren’t functioning correctly (mainly the rotator cuff and serratus muscles). Basically, you have muscles that have the tendency to do your upper body motions for you. However, as we know, just because we do it, doesn’t make it right, or mechanically efficient.
If this was and or is hard for you, weave it into your weekly practice. It gets easier, but only when done. You will begin to strengthen your lower traps, rhomboids, rotator cuff muscles, rectus abdominis, and several other muscles if you do it. It will give you a sense of where we want the scapulae to ‘live’– that is, floating in space around the ribcage.