Get your movement out of the box!
Imagine you are wearing a box around your body where you can move your arms a bit to the front and a bit to the side, but not really so much to the back. In this box you are able to play out most daily tasks such as working on a computer and bringing food to your mouth. However you really can't reach overhead in the box, its kinda hard to twist around, and it's very hard to reach behind your back. This may sound terrible and very restricting, but most adult humans nowadays move as if they are living inside this imaginary box. When was the last time you reached behind you? Or better yet, consciously trained the ability to work behind your back? “But I don’t need to do much work behind my back?”.
As we modernize and do less work in our full natural range of motion our mobility can suffer. For example, using our computers, our phones, driving or turning up a thermostat and many other daily tasks don’t require a lot of shoulder mobility. Changing a light bulb or reaching for the top shelf on the other hand do force our shoulders to use more overhead range of motion. Our joints don’t discriminate. They like all of the directions they can move, just like a child. Without doing so they get cranky and rusty and start to whine.
“Use it or lose it”
If we stop doing overhead work, we will eventually lose the ability to reach overhead. If we only sit and lay down, our hips lose the ability to find that deep squat or to get down and up from the floor. This is why you might have heard us say ‘use it or lose’ it in the studio. Our body loves movement but it is also a sucker for repetition and will stick with the patterns we give it.
This week you are encouraged to think about what your box is. Are there movements you can consciously do to break from your habitual patterns? Try it and see what new movement possibilities arise for you!
- The Stretch Space Team