1.Switch bags often. This way your body isn’t maintaining a bad structural habit day after day.
2.Stabilize your core and bend your knees when lifting anything, even your bag.
3.Carry two smaller bags instead of one large one.
4.Practice Yoga Tune Up® joint mobilization and stabilization exercises, such as the Pranic Bath, Shoulder Circles, Shoulder Flossing Variations 1 and 2, Epaulet Arm Circles, Long Head of Triceps Arms, and Matador Circles, just to name a few.
5.Use Yoga Tune Up® Therapy Balls to soothe and restore slide and glide to aching muscles (try the exercise in the video below).
Many of the exercises on the Yoga Tune Up® Quickfix Rx: Upper Back Series DVD can help restore, stabilize, and provide pain relief for the upper back, neck, and shoulder muscles.
So the question is:
Will you be a Fashionista or a Fascianista?
One honors fashion, often at the expense of structural integrity; the other honors FASCIA (the soft fibrous connective tissue that is the aqueous scaffolding of our structure) at the expense of fashion.
Discover solutions for shoulder pain.
Learn about our Therapy Ball Programs
Great advice! For years, I’ve have the habit of carrying my handbag on the same shoulder, which caused uneven shoulders and upper back pain. I tried to switch to smaller bags that I carry in my hands, and now I’ll try to remember switching sides! Comfort and health must come before fashion! Also, this ball massage for the upper back is wonferful to relieve pain and stretch.
Fascianista all the way! Dinneen, this is such helpful context for when I teach snow angels and upper back massage on the therapy balls. I taught shoulder flossing variation 1 and matador circles the other day, and next time I will most surely mention handbag carrying as a reason we are doing these exercises! Switching bags often makes a lot of sense, too. Carrying the same heavy bag on the same shoulder year after year doesn’t make sense for maintaining structural integrity at all, so true!
Great reminder to switch sides or even carry two bags. I’m convinced my uneven shoulders are the result of years of carrying a heavy bag on one side while walking and taking the subway. I’m curious if this is the case with people outside of cities who use their car back seat as an extension of their purse! 🙂
This spoke to me because of the baggage I was carrying today to TT class i should have paired down to two bags. I compromised shoulder stability as well as hip alignment.
Sometimes we need a reminder of the habits we have and often we’re not even aware of what we are doing; like carrying a big purse all day on one side only. How we use and abuse our body until we get injuries. Time for new and healthier habits, time to be mindful and kind to our body. Very nice article, thanks
Such a good reminder. I remember always switching which side I would carry my daughter in when she was still in the car seat carrier. Right side leaving the house left side returning!
I always point out to my huge-purse-toting clients that that’s the source of many of the shoulder/neck/upper back issues we just worked out on the massage table, but they don’t regard carrying less as an option. This is a great set of tips and self-care ideas I can offer them — THANK YOU!!
It’s crazy how easy it is to cause injuries our bodies and yet how easy it is to prevent them. I had 3 months of physical therapy earlier this year, and one of the first things the PT asked me to do was to ditch the big purse. So now my purse is only big enough for sunglasses, wallet and chapstick. I love the fall because I love pockets, and it’s easy to wear a jacket with pockets! I really appreciate the reminder of Practicing Yoga Tune Up. I’m going to write this down on my Yoga journal for immediate and future reference “4.Practice Yoga Tune Up® joint mobilization and stabilization exercises, such as the Pranic Bath, Shoulder Circles, Shoulder Flossing Variations 1 and 2, Epaulet Arm Circles, Long Head of Triceps Arms, and Matador Circles, just to name a few.” Thank you for the useful tips!
Living in NYC we always have tons of stuff to schlep around! I already have been switching sides often and always talk to my students about doing so in the repatterning this can do to your body. I also have been practicing #1 without intentions. I have different bags for my different jobs and end up rotating 3 throughout the week. Now that I am thinking about it, it would be more beneficial to have different types of bags, with different straps and such!
At work so many people come in with heavy handbags and they are already having pain! I too can benefit from these pointers as I tend to carry a library in my backpack. The tip of carrying two handbags will be accessible to our patients. I love the “Fashionista or Fascianista” will have to steal and share! Thank you!
Reading this post is well timed as I have been schlepping 2 heavy bags back and forth from YogaTuneUp TT for the past few days. Perhaps I don’t need that third text book today? While one of my bags is a backpack, it’s a cheap one with no chest strap, and my other bag is a large tote. I carry the tote by the strap in my hand and am mindful to engage some shoulder elevators so that the weight doesn’t pull my shoulder into depression. But, it’s hard to be mindful all the time, especially when hurrying to and fro. Thank goodness for my YTU balls!
Thanks for this, Dinneen! I have chronic tight shoulders (who doesn’t!) and it was so bad that my fingers in my right arm went numb even from simple things such as holding a fork to eat. I went to see my osteopath who suggested that I carry a backpack instead of a bag that only carried on one side f my shoulder. And a chest strap and hip strap are important in distributing the weight of the bag as well.
So when I’m travelling or carrying anything heavy (such as heavy books to a yoga training!), I use a backpack with a chest strap.
This reminds me of a Katy Bowman analogy using pumpkins to describe load profiles. She illustrates many ways that someone could carry thirteen pounds of pumpkins. Each load variance creates a unique cellular deformation. Handbags are much more fashion forward than pumpkins, but wouldn’t it be fabulous to see some fashionista carrying her huge handbag on her head for load variance (joking!).
Great article with very useful tips! While traveling I tend to use one very heavy handbag. So will divide it between 2 bags.
Also use the YTU balls to release tight and painful areas.
I love these tips! After reading your last article, I had to check this one out to see what you came up with. I love the idea of carrying two smaller bags instead of one larger and of switching bags often. I will also be incorporating my favorite Yoga Tune Up® shoulder stabilizing poses before and after carrying — what a great idea! I just can’t wait to see the looks I get when I do my pranic bath at the coffee shops 😉
Great tips, hopefully my Mom knew about that before, couple of years ago she became injured because of her bag; her shoulder was in pain, and she must go to rehab. It’s important to be aware of our daily habits.
My Mom is not a fashion person but now she becomes a fascian person while using the YTU balls
Love the tips! I’m glad I’m learning all these shoulder stabilization and mobilization exercises now, will definitely do them regularly and teach them, that way I get some for myself too 🙂
For many years I waked the streets in New York City in medical sales (in high heels no less) carrying a bag that weighed more than I did always over my right shoulder. I destroyed my body but especially that right shoulder. Wish I had found Yoga Tune Up years ago. Thanks Dineen for the tips.
When you read an article like this it seems so rational and full of common sense! but then fashion is hardly ever rational! so I’m happy to be a Fascianista? and save my shoulders back and keep my neck mobile Roll on!! 🙂
Such great ideas on something you don’t normally think about! I usually carry a heavy purse and a bag of “stuff” on the SAME shoulder every day. If I just put one on each shoulder, it could help balance me out and put less stress on my back. Simple, effective adjustments we can use in our daily lives. Thanks Dinneen!
My mom carried a huge heavy handbag and to this day still does. She complained of shoulder pain all of the time. The simple therapy ball exercises in the video would help her tremendously. At the age of 80 she could do these against a wall. Thanks for the wonderful article.
Being someone who commutes and carries a large bag, this article was so helpful on providing ideas on rolling out and stretching those areas. I’ve tried downsizing in the past only to move to a larger bag a few weeks later. Dineen, thanks for providing some YTU joint mobilization and stabilization exercises and rolling methods for those of us that just can’t seem to permanently downsize.
Such great advice! I often find myself carrying everything on one side, creating a serious imbalance all over. Thank you for including the exercises that can help, as well as the video to loosening up the upper back.
Hi Dineen! I love this line: Will you be a Fashionista or a Fascianista?
I’m going to have to “borrow it” as I’m often fully disclosing that I’ve thrown fashion out the window as I’ve learned more and more about the damage it’s done to my shoulders and whole body. I am obsessed with my patagonia convertible backpack/overshoulder bag as it allows me to keep my shoulders guessing and to change up the load from one to the other to both shoulders. It may not be the cutest bag at the work get together, but I know that my shoulders, back and neck are grateful.
The older I have become and the more embodied I try to be the less I care about fashion and my true Fascianista has been awakened! Thanks for a great post.
I vote Fascianista! This is a daily struggle as a mom of two kids who require me to be a walking refrigerator and sports trunk. Great advice on switching bags often and strengthening exercises using Yoga Tune Up exercises. Using therapy balls to release tension is one of the best discoveries I’m made over the last few years in terms of self-care. Thanks.
Good info and definitely somthing that I had to learn the hard way. For years I carried my laptop on the same shoulder…home each night and back the next day 5 days a week. About 9 months later, I had horrible pain in my trapezius muscle on one side and multiple visits to the chiropractor only gave minor relief. It wasn’t until I took a YTU training and shoulder workshop that I found some relief. Now I carry my laptop like a book and avoid re-creating the pain all together. Love the video and the suggestions on where to roll the balls. Thanks for the info!
This article is a great reminder that despite our focused practice, it really is our day-to-day activities that define our posture. Observing our simple everyday habits is BORING, but immensely rewarding long-term, and can intelligently inform our practice too.
I’ve been told that my most distinctive feature is the large black, NYSC back-pack that is constantly attached to me. Long ago I gave up carrying fashionable purses and now carry everything in a back-pack so I can at least try to distribute the weight more evenly. Sometimes I will wear the bag on font to help give my back a break. I have tried carrying more heavy items in a rolling suitcase, but found that this required me to twist my body in strange ways that were just as uncomfortable as a purse or backpack. The burden of carrying tons of stuff all day long seems like a hazard of city-living; we don’t have the option to throw things in the trunk of a car. Dinneen, what would you recommend? I’ve been told cross-body bags are no better than shoulder bags. I’m not sure the backpack is helping very much. Is there a way to carry or a type of bag that is best for the body? Thanks!
Good advice! Living in NYC, I have to carry a lot of things with me from place to place so this is something I struggle with immensely. It is very hard when you live your life on the go to have light bags. I try to switch my bags often but sometime I feel like that can be dangerous because if I use a bigger bag, somehow more things end up in it. I notice that backpacks help along with using my you tune up balls on the train and on breaks in between carrying my bag.
Yes! Love the advice to switch bags every day. I started carrying a backpack almost all the time about a year ago when I realized how much imbalance I had in my body from carrying a bag on my right shoulder my whole life, but just recently started realizing that even a well structured backpack is affecting my lumbar spine. A good reminder to intentionally switch off with carrying a bag on my left shoulder! (Or to think more seriously about inventing a backpack that is fashionable to wear in front? A frontpack?) Perhaps a fanny pack needs to enter the rotation 🙂
Also love the snow angels in the video!
As a postnatal yoga teacher it is so common to hear of shoulder and neck strain from heavy diaper bags, car seats and all of the work that goes into caring for their precious baby. I just learned all of the techniques you mentioned in your post yesterday in my YTU Level 1 training but didn’t think of how helpful these would be for those new mamas. Thank you, I can’t wait to share this in class.
Yoga Tune Up® shoulder mobilization and stabilization exercises are so effective. My favourite is Pranic Bath, as it moves the shoulder joint through all of its directions of movement. I love to teach the Pranic Bath and have shown it to more people than I can count. Throughout my university years, I carried a backpack on my left shoulder, then a purse and later my children. I have a great deal of work to do on this area of my body but the poses you have included in your post all help a great deal.
I am guilty of carrying a bag that weighs 10 pounds on a regular basis and am aware that this is probably the cause of most of my neck/shoulder/ upper back pain. For now, I do not have the option of lightening my load, but I love the idea of splitting things up into two bags. I am thankful for the self massage tutorial video posted above and cannot wait to incorporate this into my daily routine. thanks!
I began carrying two bags distributing weight on both sides of my body, and I do feel some relief in my shoulders and neck. So glad I found this blog! Also, I started changing my shoes everyday because I noticed that my feet were aching, which led to lower back aches. I feel soooo much better now!! I love how you ask if I want to be a Fashionista or a Fascianista!! I want to be both!! Thanks for including the video to massage out the shoulders and upper back – so helpful! =)
Great points. I try to change up my shoes regularly, but I hadn’t ever considered how important it is to change bags regularly. I have yet to truly find a solution to bags. While carrying heavy study materials prepping for an exam the past 2 months, I tried to be mindful of my posture, carried my study materials in two smaller bags, and always carried the bags balancing one in each hand. I was attempting to circumvent the old habit of carrying heavy bags on one shoulder and throwing off my upper back. Unfortunately I ended up developing serious cumulative tension in my forearms instead! I think it was due to the handles being too long to just allow them to hang down. Now I am learning ways to use YTU therapy balls to free up the fascia again. I think there is a lot of body wisdom in carrying things via the head, lengthening through the spine while walking
Ah, the struggle to be a fashionable fascianista! I just got a new cross-body bag that’s better than my old over-the-shoulder, but it still strains me. However, with two babies I have a certain amount of stuff I need to travel with….a conundrum. Switching up bags is good!
This is a very common one that I feel people do ignore often! We need to realize that living in such a busy city or living a busy life, that it’s ok to take two trips to the car to get your groceries, or maybe that to go into a restaurant our children don’t need 10 toys and extra diapers/wipes/clothes “just in case”. I’m definitely guilty of this as a nanny, holding a 2 year old just because he wants to be held or carrying a diaper bag plus my purse plus 3 lunch bags just to go to the park! I think this is also a great reminder for us to de-clutter and not be so materialistic in the things we have day to day.
I choose Fascianista!
Reading this article is the perfect example of reading something that you 100% already know (and know you should be doing!) but forget to do. Living a life in NYC (or any city) you are constantly carrying a purse, a gym bag or a work computer; often times it can be all three! For me, walking to work even with just a purse creates pain in my shoulders and lower back, however often times, stubbornly I suppose, I don’t do anything about it. This article highlights and reminds me of the simple things one can do everyday to help your body be a better, painless home.
You have to honor your body when choosing what you’ll carry. You can find a great cross body bag that lessens the pressure on your neck and shoulders. Another great tip is to make sure the bag you choose has an adjustable strap so you can customize it to your body needs. Also, it seems obvious but a smaller bag will force you to take less. My favorite is a wristlet with just my phone, keys, and a few cards and money.
Great video! I will definitely incorporate this exercise into my repertoire. I also love the tips. With carrying my bags always over my right shoulder, I have realized that my left shoulder became unable to hold a bag, as it will simply slide down. We have to maintain a balanced body, strengthening and mobilizing our left and right side to equal extents.
I laughed out loud when I read the title. As a mom, my friends and I end up carrying the heaviest bags in the world loaded with water, snacks, sunscreen, back up clothes, wipes, hand sanitizer and anything else a small person may need. We give up the cuter shoulder bag and go for the dorkier looking backpack because we begin to notice that one of our shoulders appears permanently depressed while slightly rotating our spine. We think it will make things better. Unfortunately, the comfort of the equal distribution of weight only causes us to throw a few more items in the backpack and we end up with shoulders so hunched we forget what it looks like to watch anything other than our feet when we’re walking.
Thank you so much for reminding me to attend to those muscles. Both to strengthen and restore.
It is amazing how much weight we bare on our shoulders. As yoga instructors we carry our giant duffel bags filled to the brim with yoga clothes, straps, books, laptop, etc… I have recently given up one strap shoulders and opted for a backpack, although that is not necessarily the best solution. I find the matador circles to be an accessible and practical way of strengthening the muscles of the rotators cuff and deltoids, instead of having to use hand weights , Thanks for the tips!
I always try to share with friends and students how long term compression from purse wielding can really mess with your neck and shoulders. Thanks for the tips!
I carry a backpack because I found that carrying a handbag on one shoulder was doing something funky to my back and not in a good way. But what I was interested in was the simplicity and effectiveness of the matodor circles. The simple movement seemed to activate muscles I hadn’t felt in a while. Which made me perhaps instead of ditching the handbag – i should restore, soothe and stabilise my neck, upper back and shoulder muscles. Alternatively I can just purchase a more fashionable backpack.
I love this comparison Fashionista or a Fascianista? I have been learning more and more about Fascia and how important it is to massage these tissues. I love the Yoga Tune Up Therapy Balls. I feel how much they relax tight contracted upper back and rotator cuff muscle plus improves blood and lymphatic circulation. I use my arms and upper body often for my work so to have a juicy freedom in my shoulder joints makes a big difference. Oh, as for Fashionista, I have always preferred those little wrist clutch purses. Next to learn about a Yoga Tune Up for wrist extension and flexion.
For the last 10 years I simplify my bag to end up with just a wallet …. I feel so free (with this neat leather wallet with IPhone pocket included) it save me a lot of worry (no point card , no change, no extra “shop” credit card ) just the essential !
Now that I will be a mother soon I might have to readjust to the needs ahead. backpack might be a solution with a great awareness to my core stabilisation (min. 20% at any time) to avoid internal rotation of my shoulders or hyper extension of my back.
Carrying things is an often overlooked, wonderful way to exercise. When viewed as exercise, with as much mindfulness as you’d put into any other form, carrying a bag (or groceries, or the garbage, etc) can be great! It’s important to consciously and evenly use our muscles rather than depending on momentum or slipping into our joints. Thanks for the great tips on how to make that happen!
Thanks for the reminder. Now if we can just get this posted in Vogue magazine! My daughter lives in high heels and a big heavy purse on her right elbow. I can already see this dis-ease in her spine and shoulders. I’m just glad the clutch is making a comeback. Yoga balls for Christmas!
Great post! I want to be both awesomely fashionable and feeling good. My upper back was killing the other day after too much computer time and kid lugging. I only had time for a 7 minute roll out but it totally healed my burning pain and headache from tension. Now to conquer better postural habits….
I commented on the last post that I am definitely someone who sacrifices fascia for fashion – so sad! I am going to try to make small, positive efforts each day to get me to become more of a fascia-nista! I can’t wait to start with the exercises in the video to help roll out my upper back and shoulders. Thanks for the advice!
Yep, I am a culprit of carrying a large tote on one shoulder. I was struggling just today on the subway. I am now coming to realize that my headaches might be coming from my tight traps that have been carrying these large bags. I am going to try a backpack and using my new YTU balls to help alleviate some of this tension.
My left shoulder always hurts more than my right shoulder, which I learned is because that’s the side I always wear my oversized purse on! I just found an over the shoulder strap that helps sooo much and takes all the tension off of that shoulder. I just have to make sure I switch sides every once in a while so the other shoulder doesn’t start hurting now!
Is there some proportional thing going on here? It seems like the skinnier the girl, the bigger and more numerous the bags. As for me, never a slave to fashion, I plan to stick with my 20 year old 6 x 10 Coach bag,
To think of all the shoulder/hip depression that can be offset by following your steps. I’m recognizing my own habits of Ilia Depression, which arises especially when carrying a heavy bag on one side! Another culprit is toting around heavy yoga mats (ha, counter-intuitive!) I purchased a yoga backpack several years ago – from what I can tell it is working well (hopefully not accounting for any excess spinal extension!)
Thank you for this tip and reminder! “Will you be a Fashionista or a Fascianista?” made my day – you are so right! I carry heavy bags always only on my right side and had rib- and muscle problems on my left side beginning of this year. Some specific yoga poses really helped to get over it.
Thank you for the reminder of what may be one of the culprits of my neck and shoulder discomfort that revisits me every so often. It is the simplest advice that is usually have the most profound affects! I will start to practice the program that you have shared, Thank you!
I feel it’s a question of habits. We all fall into the same habits over and over again. I know that I use the same handbag almost everyday and carry it on the same shoulder every day. It’s important to retrain my body (and thinking) and remind myself that I need to switch shoulders from time to time and vary the sizes of my pocketbooks.
It’s not even just fashion that makes us carry such burdens onto our shoulders!!! I carry all of my stuff around New York City all day, everyday. When I teach a class acting, singing, or dancing, I’m carrying my props around in one bag and I’m always searching for a release. I usually take to the 10 minute chair massage, but that adds up quickly!!! I’m so excited to have such a practical, simple, and absolutely deep and mindful new way to relieve my shoulder stress away. Also, I’ll be examining two bags, one on each shoulder in order to evenly distribute the weight more properly!
I always love an excuse to buy more bags! I only have one that I use daily, and it is extremely heavy and causes a lot of issues for me that I’m just starting to tackle. I also need to gain more core strength and this will be another way I can be more aware of how engaged my abdominal muscles are.
These a great tips! Though I have to admit, I felt a little flabbergasted when I read tip number 1 – it is seems so obvious, after reading it, but desperately needs to be incorporated into my life. I have always prided myself on being a simple, light weight purse carrier, but I always use the same one and truth be told, I feel how it is pulling my body in certain directions. So thanks, from a fellow fascianista 🙂
This post really resonated with me – I just got in from carrying a purse around all day – I know It is bad for my posture, but when you need to carry things, you need to carry them!! These are great tips…and I”m going to go roll out on my balls now 🙂
Do we really need to carry all that stuff in our bag? I can completely understand bringing all our books for training and I feel like Quasimodo; as a matter of fact I’ve lost and inch in height from lugging around my giant backpack. Maybe carry less “stuff” maybe a bit more helpful. I’ve seen women carry a curling iron and hairspray inside their handbag.
Maybe to add to the shoulders is a massage for the elbow and forearm. The medial, posterior and lateral sides of the elbow I’ve noticed in all of my students are extremely tight when I come around to massage them during Savasana. As well as the forearms are tight as well.
Thanks for the handy checklist! I have so many bags and many of them make different parts of my shoulders ache.It’s nice to have a reminder and a solution to the pain. And I am tickled at the prospect of being a “Fascianista”, very clever!
There has to be a law for kids. No kid is allowed to carry a school bag without wheels. I think my daughter carries around a 11 to 12 pounds on her shoulder each day and walks home from school. It kills me to see that, as I know down the road it’s not going to look good. I for one, now carry my stuff on my hips. I let the hips take most of the load and wear a diagnal strap. That helps distribute the load a bit.,
Thank you Dinneen. Much appreciated tips. Reading all of these posts about the shoulders, the importance of warming, working and tenderizing the muscles in and around the shoulder joints is really sinking into my being. Best.
I’ve been doing this with my Tune Ups balls and it’s such a problem area for me and everyone. I’m so thankful for this and the awareness of my own personal habits that can be eradicated to feel better. Thank you for this and the video. I don’t know what I’d do without my Tune Up Balls. I’m no fashionista, but this is so great for self care and to share with others!
Dinneen, thanks for a very informative article. This type of advice will undoubtedly give me more mileage in my shoulders and back for years to come. Thanks!
Dineen, thanks for a very informative article. This type of advice will undoubtedly give me more mileage in my shoulders and back for years to come. Thanks!
Will you be a Fashionista or a Fascianista? I love the question Dinneen!! I think we can be both. In fact we should all start a trend with you fabulous suggestions. I personally carry 1 way to heavy bag with all my everything I may need. I am feeling the effects and know I need to make a change. With you tips I’m well on my way.
This post was made for me. I’m always carrying my books on my right shoulder- I am not doing that anymore..It looks cool the lululemon bag, but OMG. after walking all day long with it , with books, food, water, and keys,phone, etc…it just not fait to my spine..Im sorry spine,I love u!
Thanks for sharing 🙂
Haha! Fascianista all the way! Once you have pain- fashion isn’t as important. Thanks for sharing!
Fantasticnista! I love this simple yet profound advice. Why can’t I seem to be consistent with this. I love my big bag. My shoulder DOES not. I will be more mindful I WILL be more mindful. I WILL BE MORE MINDFUL. Thanks Dinneen. You are a beautiful fascianista with style and precision!
Thanks Dinneen, as a teenager I used to have a very bad posture, and one of my habits was to carrie my backpack in one strap, making my pelvis very unstable. I still can feel the consequences. Parctice this routines will help me to remind myself how important is to take care of my shoulders in order to keep a good posture.
OK, ok, ok…I get it. I like the idea of two smaller bags but I think for this training I just need to dump one of our rollie suitcases to accommodate the heavy books. I need to properly represent my Fascianistaness! Goodness knows other than my heavy tote, I am not a Fashionista by any stretch! 🙂 xo
FASCIA-nista all the way!!! Thanks for this great article Dineen! I am a huge culprit of putting my bags only on my right shoulder and I think its a habit because the seratus anterior is weak and less proprioceptive to the pain and consequently more internally rotated, making for a better hanging place on my not so happy shoulder. But I do think stabilizing the tubular core and switching bags and sides is way better than using a backpack and forcing both shoulders to reinforce counter internal rotation and tightening of the pectoral minor.
These are some very helpful tips and so easy to remember. I would like to find a way to honor fashion and fascia simultaneously:)
I am really looking forward to incorporating these movements into my daily routines. Healthy shoulders and better posture suddenly seem within reach.
I LOVE “Fascianista”, very clever! After I started working my shoulders out more, without the use of self care thrown in, I found my bags to be distructive because I’d be so weak and tired in that already unstable joint. I actually moved towards not carrying one and condensing what I needed to carry into pockets or sling bags. Ever since ball massage, I’ve found less discomfort in carrying my bags even when I have tired shoulders. After reading this I am going to try splitting my stuff into two bags, however. Thanks!
I LOVE “Fascianista”, awesome term! After I started working my shoulders out more, without the use of self care thrown in, I found my bags to be distructive because I’d be so weak and tired in that already unstable joint. I actually moved towards not carrying one and condensing what I needed to carry into pockets or sling bags. Ever since ball massage, I’ve found less discomfort in carrying my bags even when I have tired shoulders. After reading this I am going to try splitting my stuff into two bags, however. Thanks!
I deal with many different ages, in my personal training business. what I do see regularly are shoulder injuries due to women carrying heavy bags over their shoulders, I encourage my clients to change shoulders regularly, or even better yet, leave the large bags at home!
Younger women who go to school are encouraged to wear a backpack that has been properly fitted for their body length!
Do we really need all of the “stuff” that we carry around?I think not!
Dinneen, thank you for these tips. I recently started carrying two bags of equal weight instead of one miserable bag full of books and I can testify that my entire back and shoulder did feel a lot better and I am even less grumpy on the subway!
Because we so often carry our purses on the same side – for me the left side – bunions are often larger on the side we carry our purses. The weight of our ever-increasing purses are costing us out of alignment bodies!
I am wondering about the carry two smaller bags instead of one advice….sometimes when I carry two bags I actually find it more annoying on my shoulders and back because they slip off and bump into each and weigh each other down instead of just the one which can be more stable.
This is great. How many times have we all been walking down the street, consciously aware of how much our shoulders hurt but struggling through it anyway? I keep EVERYTHING in my bag, and this is definitely going to help me be more mindful. Can’t wait to use my YTU therapy balls when I finish this post!
Thanks Dinneen! People are always commenting on my massive heavy bags – work clothes, gym clothes, trail guide, water bottle, who knows what else you will find in there. In NY I am almost always walking with it, to the point that when I walk without a bag, it feels strange. Going to try the two smaller bag trick (and not only because this is an excuse to buy another bag!)
Being a fashionista and living in New York and having worked in fashion and the new “IT” bags were not back or shoulder friendly. I used to carry my life in my bag, Walking around with a 12lb bag all the time,I started to get horrible muscle spasms on my upper back. Since then I have been going much lighter on the stuff I carry around and have not had a problem since.
Yes! I 100% agree! I used to carry a lot of stuff in a big bag . After I injured my lower back three years ago ( my doctor told me that my injury was due to years of overloading stuff 🙁 Then I started to carry a much smaller bag or a small backpack, which limit the stuff I will bring. And I also started to add Yoga to my daily practice to strengthen my back:). Last few days I’ve learned how to use these magical therapy balls to massage my back muscles during my yoga tune up training with Maura Barclay at Pure Yoga:).
When all else fails and you absolutely must use the over sized bag, I often find that switching regularly and consciously from one shoulder to the other can help prevent lopsided-ness and overuse of the dominant shoulder.
Great advices Dinneen! I’ve actually been all of these since I discovered the Yoga Tune Up balls.
Having a scoliosis, I actually use my bag to compense my curve.
Great sound advice Dineen. Fashionable or not I have yet to find a bag that doesn’t have my mid -back and shoulders feeling sore and achy at the end of the day… All my research has lead to dead ends. Thank goodness for YTU Balls!