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Relax Your Shoulders At Your Desk with Coronal Arm Circles

Updated on July 23, 2010
Getting tense and upset at the office?  You could be compounding things by keeping your shoulders in a poor position.  Let's remedy that, shall we?
Getting tense and upset at the office? You could be compounding things by keeping your shoulders in a poor position. Let's remedy that, shall we?
As many of us are doomed to sedentary office work, we are also likely to find ourselves plagued with tight shoulders and poor posture.  This condition can be compounded by stress and poor workstation ergonomics, leaving us feeling worse than ever.  

While sometimes it seems that the only way in which we may free ourselves from this exquisite suffering would involve hundreds of dollars worth of massages and spa treatments, plus private Yoga and Pilates classes, there are some quick, easy, and inexpensive alternatives.

Heck, you needn’t even leave the shackles of your office chair for this shoulder-relaxing Pilates exercise!  Allow me to introduce you to Coronal Arm Circles.

Bring your arms into position
Bring your arms into position
Draw your shoulder blades down and together...
Draw your shoulder blades down and together...
Bring them together and up (this is where we often find ourselves... ouch!)...
Bring them together and up (this is where we often find ourselves... ouch!)...
Bring them up and wide...
Bring them up and wide...
And finally, bring them down and apart (this is where we WANT to be)
And finally, bring them down and apart (this is where we WANT to be)

Directions

Geeting Started:
  1. Sit upright in your chair (or cross-legged on a mat or the floor... or standing- whatever suits your fancy) with the crown of your head extending toward your ceiling and the base of your scull, you shoulder blades, the bottom/back of your ribcage, and your sacrum in alignment (in English: sit up straight!)
  2. Bring your arms into a cactus or goal post position with your elbows bent and your fingertips extending toward the ceiling
  3. Bring your arms into the coronal plane- this means that instead of having your elbows jutting out to your aides, you have them within your peripheral vision- it should feel natural and not forced

Now comes the movement, which is all in the shoulder blades:
  1. Draw your shoulder blades down
  2. Draw them together, still in the down position
  3. Keeping them together, draw them up (this is that tense, unhappy position in which we usually find ourselves after hours of involved office-warfare)
  4. Keeping them up, draw them apart
  5. Keeping them apart, draw them down (this is where we want to be, and where we naturally find ourselves when relaxed and comfortable)
  6. Repeat 8-10 times

Why This Works

Coronal Arm Circles allow you to work on mobility in this area of your shoulders, as well as experience the contrast between a good and a bad position.

After doing a couple of these, the idea is that you can become once again aware of how your posture affects your breathing, blood flow, and general comfort.  The point is to also shift yourself from keeping your shoulder blades tense, together, and elevated to a position in which your shoulder blades are more relaxed, low, and separated.

I do hope this helps.  Enjoy!

The Video How-To

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    • Simone Smith profile image
      Author

      Simone Haruko Smith 7 years ago from San Francisco

      LOL Thanks!! You really out to give these a try. They really helped me back in school- especially around final exam time @_@

    • profile image

      Twenty One Days 7 years ago

      Simone, I like this, as I tend to slouch backward at my home office desk. PS, I didn't take you for a redhead. Hmmm. -James.

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