The shoulder is actively used in most hand movements such as picking, pushing, pulling and throwing. The shoulder consists of shoulder joints and shoulder blades.
Straight Shoulders Are Important For A Good Posture
The shoulder joint connects the shoulder to the upper arm. Free movement of this joint is essential for all activities that are done by the shoulder and upper arms like throwing and lifting.
The shoulder blades are the muscles which are located at the upper part of our back, just below the neck region. These muscles are connected to the shoulder joints and are involved in all shoulder movements.
Healthy shoulders means strong and flexible shoulder blades and shoulder joints. This can be achieved by regularly exercising them.
Modern lifestyle is actually very harmful for our shoulders. Since most of us spend long hours sitting in front of the computer, we tend to curve our shoulders forward. This causes our shoulders to become rounded or drawn forwards towards the chest. That is especially if we spend a lot of time typing on the keyboard, our shoulders tend to droop downwards. Also, while driving a car, the hands are always on the steering wheel which causes the shoulders to be drawn inwards. Over a long period of time, this gives the shoulders a very bad posture which can even become permanent.
Stretching The Shoulder Muscles Improves Flexibility
Simple exercises can help the shoulders to stay in good shape and maintain a good posture. They can also reduce pains in the shoulder blades and joints. Pain in the shoulder muscles occur when we do an activity which involves the shoulders like driving and typing for long hours at a stretch without maintaining a good posture. This causes the shoulder muscles to tighten and feel cramped up. While doing such activities, it is essential to take intermittent breaks and relax the muscles. This can be done by tightening the shoulder muscles together backwards and then allowing them to relax.
Pain in the shoulder joints occurs when the joints are not very flexible and are subject to some sudden movements like suddenly pulling up a heavy weight or suddenly throwing with force.
Regular exercise of the shoulder joints helps them to carry out smooth and friction free ‘ball and socket’ movements during all shoulder activities. During long hours of monotonous activity, the shoulder joints should be exercised intermittently by rotating them forwards and backwards and doing other simple upper arm movements which help to relax them.
Warming Up Is Essential Before Specific Shoulder Exercises
Exercising the shoulders is important not only to keep them healthy but also to give the body a good posture. Regular exercising makes the shoulders straight and firm instead of rounded and droopy. Due to poor posture of the shoulders, one can have back pain and also show signs of spondilitis which is stiffness and pain in the area behind the neck.
Some appropriate exercises for healthy shoulders include stretching the shoulder blades and lightly rotating the arms at the shoulder joints. You can also do some light weightlifting with dumbbells which will help to tone the muscles and also make them flexible.
For instance- standing straight, you can gently lift light weights of about 5 pounds and raise your arms above your head. Keep the arms in that position for a few seconds and then bring them down back to position.
Those who are interested in body building need advice from a physical trainer regarding specific exercises which will develop the shoulder muscles. For daily exercises, you can check up the internet which also offers videos to display these exercises.
While doing shoulder exercises, do remember some essential rules. Always do some light warm up stretches like gently rotating the arms at the shoulders. This prepares the shoulders for the specific exercises which are to follow.
Never over exert or over stretch your shoulder muscles and joints. Whether you do stretching exercises or light weight lifting, do the exercises gently and only to the limit that the body allows.
Healthy shoulders are essential for reducing back pains and also to have an attractive posture.