Weekend Challenge: Dynamic Shoulder Strengthener
Take a nice, deep breath and get ready for an exercise that opens up your chest, expands your rib cage, mobilizes your shoulders, and boosts your posture. The Dynamic Shoulder Strengthener works tight areas in your shoulder joints, counteracts slumping, and opens a “caved-in” chest.
It’s a fun, feel-good move that you can do anytime, anywhere. You could even do it while seated.
Let’s get to it!
Savers often request exercises that can be practiced throughout the day to give their upper back and shoulders a break from the slouched posture that can so quickly become a bad habit. Before you know it, you may find you’ve been sitting at your computer keyboard for hours without a change in posture or position.
Why does this matter? Even when you aren’t aware of it, your body is continually adapting to your physical, dietary, and even mental habits. Your body fights imbalance, so when one system become off-kilter, a corresponding body system will attempt to compensate.
For example, if your diet is acidifying, your body will try to correct the acidic pH to achieve a more alkaline state. It does this first by engaging the kidneys. It’s a fascinating process that you can read more about in this article: These 6 Foods Are The Worst For Your Kidneys And Cause Bone Loss.
When the kidneys become overworked and overwhelmed by chronic acidosis, the “emergency measures” kick in and your body begins to pull calcium and other alkalizing minerals stored in your bones.
And all this can be going on without any noticeable symptoms. That’s why an osteoporosis or osteopenia diagnosis is often shocking news for many people.
Another example of imbalance is bodily dysfunction brought about by slouching, Forward Head Posture (FHP), and other postural errors. Various muscles must then kick in an attempt to bring your body back into alignment, and often these muscles are not designed for stabilizing. Nonetheless, they can do the job of other muscles without any symptoms (at first), so when neck, upper back, or shoulder pain arise, you may not consider your posture as the culprit.
Following a pH-balanced diet and engaging in regular practices such as exercise and deep breathing, help to prevent the imbalance from taking hold – even if you “feel fine.” And of course, exercise – especially targeted exercise that directly addresses bone density – is crucial for renewing your bones and reversing bone loss. Most Savers are well aware of this; and it’s important to keep in mind that deep breathing is also essential for your bone health, and here’s why.
With each breath you take, you’re not only taking in oxygen; you’re also ridding your body of carbon dioxide when you exhale. Shallow breathing neither takes in enough oxygen nor gets rid of all the carbon dioxide (CO2). So the CO2 accumulates, which contributes to acidosis.
On the other hand, deep breaths with effective and thorough exhaling, alkalize the body, allowing your bones to build and renew themselves.
The position of your shoulders and chest promotes deep, healing breaths, so performing exercises like the Dynamic Shoulder Strengthener is key to paving the way for healthy, alkalizing breathing. Additionally, this exercise increases mobility and stability in the shoulder joints.
You could do this exercise while seated, but the instructions are for standing. However, you can easily adapt them to sitting down.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bring your arms straight out to the side, palms facing down.
- Keeping your arms straight and at the same level, bring them together in front of you, crossing one arm above the other.
- Bring your arms back out to the sides, and then bring them forward again, crossing the opposite arm over the other (for example, if you crossed your right arm over your left in Step 2, cross your left over your right in this step).
- Continue Steps 2 and 3 for one full minute, moving as rapidly as you can without compromising form.
We suggest following this exercise with these other Weekend Challenges:
Along with pH-balanced nutrition and other lifestyle modifications, targeted exercise is one of your primary weapons against bone loss. And as we’ve seen in this Weekend Challenge, exercising is not just about strengthening bones, muscles, and joints; it’s also about promoting cleansing, deep breaths that are an integral part of bringing your body into an alkaline, bone-protective state.
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Have a great weekend!