I came across these two images both of which are views from the top of the ribcage and shoulder girdle. The human image is a skeletal view without the myofascial (muscles and fascia) slings. The cat’s image shows the slings. Notice the breast bone of the cat with the sling attachment to the leg (arm in our case) bones. Also, view the shoulder blades with its posterior sling attaching on the spine, to shoulder blade, spine to ribs and inside the shoulder blade to the ribs. We have similar structures that allows us to reach, pull and push. For the cat, imagine the cat running or jumping and how the sling would elongate on one side and shorten on the other to create the tension and spring to pounce.
Even though we do not run on all fours, we still need to have the ability to be pliable, like a cat, to move efficiently without causing damage to our joints. My shoulder series is more than about the shoulder. The movements play with the slings, moving through the elongation and tension from as far away as the pelvis giving us the elasticity to move fully with our arms.
MODIFICATIONS: The range demonstrated is a normal and full range of movement necessary for healthy shoulders.
Start where you are, practice and change is coming.
Choose some of the following to ease into the movement:
- Use a stretchy band so that when needed the width can increase
- Start very wide with the hands, progress toward narrowing the grip
- Progress from lift the arms straight up to or just before a place of discomfort, stop and begin again repeating. See my blog post about my “Pancake Theory,” the first repetition is like the first pancake. Repeat and each one gets better and easier!
- NO PAIN
- Pay attention to your placement of the ribcage, maintain stability