Working on a laptop the new norm
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Have you found yourself back at home, using a laptop, or if you’re a student working on a tablet or phone? You may have a home office or be sat at the dining table for long periods of time and not in the best seating position. All I want to remind you about is three things:
Firstly, move every 50 minutes; knee raises, matching or jogging on the spot, if you’re making a coffee walk up and down the stairs 4 times while the kettle boils
Secondly, stay hydrated as well as a coffee, swop two a day for a herbal tea, and absolutely keep your water bottle topped up, you’re not far from a toilet so who cares how often you need to go!
The third is what are your shoulders doing? Are they tight as you type in fury back to a co-worker who has annoyed you, or are you slouching and not sitting on your sit bones but your lower lumbar spine.
Shoulder Stabilisation (also known as Scapular stabilisation) is one of the set-up points when getting into your neutral spine in Pilates, you will be very familiar with this at the start of each Pilates class, but why is this so important in your everyday activities? Your scapulae are the wing-like bones on your upper back, popularly known as shoulder blades, now you’ll know why I remind you during a Pilates class when you are doing the “Double Leg Stretch” to keep the shoulder blade connection with the mat…makes sense now.
Stabilising scapulae on the rib cage is as important as contracting the TVA during the initiation of every exercise. When stability is absent, there is a tendency to overwork muscles around the neck and shoulders. We should be aware of scapular stabilisation at all times, whether there is movement of the arms and spine or not. Since they lack a direct bony attachment to the rib cage and spine, the scapulae have a great deal of mobility. Through the whole shoulder girdle, a sense of stability, not rigidity, should always be maintained. A sense of width should be maintained across the front and back of the shoulder girdle. The shoulders should not be allowed to overly round forward or squeeze completely together.
Be aware that your neutral placement of the scapulae may be slightly different from your natural resting position. This is why some of you will use a Pilates pillow (the small grey ones I have) to elevate your head slightly as it’s hard to stabilise your shoulders, due to Kyphosis…a topic for the next newsletter!
Exercise that are great for Shoulder Stabilisation: Shoulder stabilisation set-up; up, back and down, imagine they are sitting in the back pockets of your jeans. Supine (facing up) arm circles on their own (the first part of the Double Leg Stretch). The Chest Opener (on your back) arms straight out, palms to the ceiling. Visit the evolution34 exercise videos