You’ve Should Have The Flexibility Now It’s Time To Go For Strength And Stamina. Only complete this part if you can comfortably get your arms flat to the wall and keep them there as you lower them on the Wall Angel. Make sure you read this first if this is the first you’ve heard of Wall Angel.
What? Equipment? I hear you say. Never fear this is where the wonderful world of exercise bands come in to play. These are relatively inexpensive but highly versatile rubber bands, the beauty of these is that they improve your control of joint movement while under resistance. As the rubber is constantly working against you you have to work harder to control the bounce back so to speak. They come in a variety of resistances that are colour coded.
The other great thing about them is that they fold away and you won’t stubb your toes on them like a set of dumbells just hidden out of sight beneath the bed!
Take a two metre length of band and fold it over, start with a resistance that is comfortable. Remember no pain no gain is frankly a stupid way to train, so if you are struggling after just a few reps, get an easier band.
It’s great to be able to do a huge lift, but after one go you’re bust, what practical use is that in every day life?
Take the band as shown below between the hands and make sure you have some tension, then lower the arms and the band will stretch. Hold for a few secs, SLOWLY raise the arms back up, pause for a few seconds and repeat until you feel that you are starting to lose good form or begining to tire between the shoulders. Remember if you are getting pain, reduce the resistance, if it continues to give pain STOP, go back to unloaded exercise, i.e. no band.
Start position (arms are actually not bent enough!)
Ladies, a little advice…don’t do this before going out, it can do strange things to the hair on the back of your head and you may end up looking like this.
Aim to do the exercise once or twice a day with a rest break of 2 days in the week. If you require more assistance you can contact me through the clinic website.
This exercise is called the Wall Angel, you start by standing about 6 inches from a clear wall, sit onto the wall so your lower back is comfortable. Then tense the deep neck flexors as you did with the Bruger’s postural relief. Now raise your arms up with the elbows at shoulder height and bent at 90 degrees.
Start position for Wall Angel Exercise
Here’s the side view:
Note the chin is tucked in
You should aim to get the elbows back to the wall and the hands flat to the wall WITHOUT letting your body arch like this:
This is wrong, back is arched too much
Now if you have a tight upper back and shoulders you won’t be able to get flat without the back arching. So you need to gently tense the stomach muscles to make your spine rigid, then just take the elbows back until you feel a stretch. Refer to do’s and don’ts of stretching for more tips before doing this. Remember this should not cause pain. If it does, go back to the previous exercise Bruger’s Relief Position.
Now you should be comfortable, back stiff and relatively flat to the wall, your arms will be somewhere between being on the wall or a long way forward. Now you need to lower the arms to your sides keeping the elbows bent at 90 degrees. As you do so you will feel a stretch on the front of the chest and tension between the shoulder blades on the Rhomboid muscles.
Note the elbows stay bent at right angles
If you have tight shoulders you will feel the hands lift away from the wall. This is fine, the trick now is to keep the spine still, so make sure you maintain tension in the abdominal muscles. As long as you feel some stretch on the front of the chest that is fine.
Note back is still flat against the wall
This shows the wrong way to do it:
Back over-extended, less specific for shoulder
OK, now you should be getting an idea that this is all about control, you really need to focus on the only movement occuring at the shoulder. Got that? Good.
Now you simply bring the elbows back up level with the shoulders, pause for a second or two and repeat about 15-20 times. Always remember quality is more important than quantity and if it hurts you stop straight away.
Within a few weeks you’ll feel alot more freedom in the shoulders.
All the best for now
Steve Oldale BSc, DC Chiropractor Back In Form Chiropractic Clinic 65-67 Commercial Rd Poole BH14 0JB