Practical Tai Chi | Chi Kung Health Tips – Shoulder Strengthening Tip
Here’s another Practical Tai Chi | Chi Kung Health Tip – Shoulder Strengthening Tip
This series of health tips is based on Tai Chi/Chi Kung health-supporting principles that everyone can apply. These tips are specially designed for people looking for minimal effort with maximum gain – a simple, practical and efficient approach to exercise.
Simple – easy to remember, easy to perform
Practical – being able to take it with you, not being tied to a gym.
Efficient – not having to spend much time or integrating it into your daily activities
This series is based on these key points:
- We need to keep the body strong as we age – use it or lose it.
- Best body regions to exercise for maximum benefit – legs, back (core), shoulders, ankles
On to the tip!
Shoulder Strengthening Tip
People in the gym are so worried about their biceps and triceps. Perhaps there’s a vanity issue going on here. I very rarely have anyone coming into my clinic, as they get older, complaining about bicep problems. I do see lots of shoulder problems! Rotator cuff problems particularly.
The rotator cuff is a group of four muscles (supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor, subscapularis) that stabilize and keep the shoulder joint in place along with 3 other shoulder muscles (teres major, deltoids and coracobrachialis). Many times, people sustain injuries to the rotator cuff by repeated overhead motions or forceful pulling motions.
So let me explain to you a simple exercise to keep your shoulders in good shape. Circle your shoulders very slowly. I like doing this exercise at night when I’m watching TV before going to bed with whatever energy I have left over.
Here’s the exercise – stand with your arms by your sides – raise your arms straight out to the sides (pretend you’re an airplane) and continue raising them upward over your head (arms are extended straight up). Continue in a circular pattern by crossing your arms at chest level and bring them back down to your side and repeat 20 times. Notice the hands make a circular movement in opposite directions. Think of your arms as propellers spinning slowly in synchronicity. After 20 repetitions reverse the patterns and spin in the opposite direction.
Your shoulders should feel slightly tense, warm and challenged in a good way. This simple-to-do exercise will affect most of the muscles in your upper body and maintain good shoulder strength. Also, if you do this exercise an hour before bed, you may experience improved sleep! This exercise helps to open up the circulation in the acupuncture channels in the upper body which in turn helps to relax and benefit the heart and lung organs.
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