How I warm up: Stretches and Movements for Daily Shoulder Health
After years of procrastinating on making videos, I've decided to make the leap into filming myself. There can be a disconnect between what I'm teaching every week, and what I'm writing about, and I wanted to share a little more of what I do. I'm often asked about some of the daily movements for shoulder health, especially on big rehearsal days, before concerts or auditions, or just in priming the body for other activities. There are tons of great warmups out there, but here are three universal movement sequences that I teach to most of my students, whether or not they are musicians, yogis, or athletes.
This first warmup can be done with a yoga strap, theraband, belt, blanket, or virtually any other long fabric object. It's a combination of work that I've done with my first yoga teacher David Vendetti in Boston, Jill Miller of Yoga Tune Up, and some of the Fletcher Pilates towel work, but it's a great series of movements for every body.
I worked with some string players last week on their shoulder awareness, and one of them filmed this in my living room. It's a great simple movement that can be done on hands and knees, but can also be progressed to a full plank position. It explores the shoulder directions of motion called Protraction and Retraction, in which the shoulder girdle slides forward and around, and backwards along the rib cage.
This last series can be done on a foam roller, bolster, pile of blankets, or any other elevated surface in which the chest is higher than the hips and arms are able to abduct in the dorsal plane (i.e. out to the sides and behind). I do this exercise almost every day, and teach it to most of my clients, either before or after a workout.