On Wednesday, I presented a fanciful drama about the rotator cuff muscles imagining them to be a cranky group of dysfunctional office workers. Below are some exercises that you might do during your workday – especially if you are an office worker – that will stimulate and soothe your rotator cuff muscles to keep them humming.
Try a few exploratory rounds of Epaulet Circles and the Pranic Bath – interesting movements that sequence through all of the actions of the shoulder joint. Move slowly in order to be precise in your actions and to allow time to notice if (or where) there are “glitches”.
Improve mobility in the shoulder girdle (especially when it is achey) by working indirectly. Explore massaging the muscles of the chest: pectoralis major, pectoralis minor, and subclavius. Tight chest muscles, often the result of holding our arms out in front of us as we type, draw the scapula forward contributing to strain and dysfunction of the shoulder joint. Finding ease in the chest will improve the work environment of the rotator cuff, lightening the overall workload.
(Clear out a spot in a desk drawer where you can stash your Yoga Tune Up Therapy balls and a block.)
Practice movements that recruit and strengthen the support of other nearby muscles. Serratus anterior (who shares a cubicle and a spider plant with subscapularis) is a muscle that can stabilize the shoulder girdle in weight bearing poses such as plank. Indeed, if plank pose is practiced without the support of serratus anterior, the rotator cuff will eventually rebel. (Read more about MegaPlank here). You also can build mobility in the shoulders with Shoulder Flossing, which takes the shoulders through almost every possible range. Keep a strap by your desk and do this often!
Hopefully, with a few simple additions of rotator cuff exercises to your daily routines, you can restore the harmony to your workplace drama and have balanced shoulders instead!