Leading a class through some upper back ball work one evening recently, I saw several of my clients clenching their jaws because the knots across their backs, particularly in the trapezius muscles were extremely tight. As a result, my people weren’t getting any benefit out of the ball work and in fact it was just making their necks tighter as those muscles tensed in response to the sensation in their backs.
So we started alternating between YTU warm ups and Therapy Ball exercises.
To get heat and circulation into the shoulders and upper back, we did some shoulder flossing and matador circles, then three rounds of trapezius shrugs. That seemed to soften the traps up enough so my students could roll out their mid-shoulder blade area, reach their arms to the ceiling, then lower the shoulder blades down around the balls without muscle tension overflowing into the neck and jaw. We did another three rounds of trap squeezes, then back on the balls for the self hug and squirm. A third round of trap squeezes and then back on the balls at the psychic bra strap line for some goalpost arms with motion, and they were well on their way to soothed, serene shoulders.
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