video exercises

Pilates for Beginners – Bulletproof your Shoulders

Bulletproof your Shoulders

Good evening and welcome to Pilates for beginners, my name is Theresa. And this is Moody, my assistant. Today we’ll be showing you a couple of upper body techniques to help bulletproof your shoulders. We’re going to be starting with a stabilization technique used to relieve tension from the shoulders, the neck, the back and through the pelvis. We’ll be using this foam roller. You can also choose to do this technique for the shoulders without the foam roller. But we’re going to be using this today. If you have one, you can bring it out or I can order one online. Remember to try our other videos too!

Every roller size might be a little bit different. You want to make sure that you have a roller that supports you from the crown of your head right down to the table. You’re going to make sure that your knees are just above your heels and your feet are at hip distance apart. OK. And making sure that the feet are not pointed outwards, that they are pointing forward. Perfect. You just want to make sure that your spine is positioned on the roll and just like that. You’re going to raise your arms up to where the ceiling palms facing each other, right? You just want to feel the connection between your shoulder blades and the roller at this present time.

Making sure that your head and neck is in a nice neutral position. You’re going to inhale and reach the arms up to the ceiling. And exhale. Draw them down and allow them to squeeze the roller in between the shoulder blades. Inhale, reaching the arms up and exhale. Drawing down, squeezing in between the shoulder blades. Perfect. Inhale, reaching and exhale drawing them down.

Keep that going there, inhale, reaching the arms up and exhale, drawing them down squeezing the roller in between the shoulder blades. Perfect. Just a couple more of the these and you can do this as many times as you want to. For this video, I want to just lessen the amount of times that we do this. One last time. OK, so now you’re going to take your arms right back behind you. You going to reach your arms back behind you so that your palms are facing the ceiling. Not easy trying to bulletproof your shoulders, but well worth it!

Right. So now you’re going to inhale and bring the arms to this cactus arm positions, so bring them to 90 degrees. And exhale reaching them back behind you. Let’s exhale that. Bring them into cactus. Exhale. And then inhale, reaching them back behind you, just continuing that there, exhaling. And in inhaling reaching them back so the arms are at a 90-degree position and you’re just basically sliding them back and forth.

It takes some effort, but it’s worth it

You’re imagining that there’s a pane of glass above you and you have two cloths on your hands and you’re just simply drawing them behind you and back to the cactus arm position. Making sure that the elbows track just in alignment with the shoulders. Lovely. Now keep them at 90-degrees just like this. Elbows are tracking great alignment with the shoulders, palms and facing the ceiling. And now what you’re going to do is fan the forearms up, keeping the elbows exactly where they are. You’re going to fan them up, then draw them to an upside-down cactus. It should look like scarecrow arms.

Inhale reaching them. And exhale drawing them back. Lovely. You’re keeping the elbows exactly where they are. And you’re just rotating the forearms all the way up and back and you’re integrating your breath into this movement. Lovely. And by now, you should feel the shoulders just massaging against the roller. After you bulletproof your shoulders with this routine, it’s important to give them a bit of love too. You’re going to just bring your awareness into what the shoulder blades are actually doing here. They’re rotating into the roller.

Lovely one last time. And you can do this a bit more, more times than this. But for this video, we’re just going to keep it short and brief. Taking them to your upside-down cactus arms (this probably has another name but I’m making up names here, it’s like a scarecrow). You’re going to leave them exactly just like this and then slide them down beside your hips. Taking them to straight arms beside the hips and then sliding them back to your scarecrow arms. That’s it. Just releasing them down the side. Yes.

And then bringing them back to the scarecrow arms just a couple more times there just reaching them down. Beautiful, just integrating the breath into the movement here. Lovely. It’s going to feel really, really nice once you’re off the roller. Bring them back to the scarecrow arms, and fan them back to cactus arms. Lovely keeping elbows right in alignment with the shoulders. Great. I like to adjust my clients as I’m working with them and now reach your arms back behind you again. Palms facing the ceiling. This time reach your arms up toward the ceiling all the way up and then draw them down to the sides of the body. You’re going to fan them out to the sides of you.

Like you’re drawing a snow angel, reaching them back behind you, bringing them now up toward the ceiling palms facing each other now, down the side of the hips. And rotating them back again. It’s just like you’re drawing this snow angel with your arms and then you’re going to be reversing that direction. So take the arms back behind you this time. Bring them up toward the ceiling, back behind you and then drawing them down to the sides of the body. I want you to really feel the shoulder blades as they’re moving against the roller.

Inhaling. And exhaling, drawing back to the sides of the body. And you can do this just one last time or as many times as you feel you need to. And then you’ll be reaching the arms up toward the ceiling, palms facing each other. Hold that there for a second. Shoulder blades square to the roller. Good. Now just reach your right arm up only pass the left arm, just reaching that right arm up toward the ceiling. Lovely. And then dropping it down into the shoulder socket, reaching the left arm. Inhale. Exhale to reach.

Bringing it back down. Make sure you’re stabilizing through the pelvis. Your hips are heavy, tailbone heavy to keep that stabilization through the body and just alternating the arms here. One last time. This is just a great technique just to relieve some tension to the shoulders. And now you’re going to take your arms and hug them across your chest. And just hold that there for a second. You’re going to nod your chin towards your throat and slightly peel the shoulder blades off of the roller.

Just rolling forward and then taking it back again, one vertebra at a time, back down inhaling and exhaling, nodding through the chin and just rolling up. And back down, and we’re just going to take the opposite arm over us, so the other one comes over and under. Breathing in and breathing out. Just rolling up, feeling those shoulder blades separating and then drawing them right back down. This is just a nice massage for the spine here, inhaling and exhaling. Beautiful. And back down and bring the arms back to the sides of the body. How does it feel to bulletproof your shoulders? Excellent. So that is one technique that we’re teaching you today. Hope you enjoyed it

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