Stable as a Table

If you did the stability tests from last week you will know which areas need work.

Shoulders.
Ok, there are few ways to work on shoulder stability, many of which involve the arms overhead and obviously this is how we tested them. Many of them start with the shoulders over head, however I find most people struggle to over ride the upper shoulders lifting in this position and therefore cannot perform the exercise correctly. I want to make it easier for you to feel what you are trying to achieve (this is still not easy if you have particularly tense shoulders). In order to recruit your shoulder muscles more effectively we are going to focus solely on retracting the scapulars i.e using the muscles between the shoulder blades. When we spend hours hunched over desks these muscles become stretched and weak which over time causes us to over use the upper shoulders which many of you will find now sit somewhere just under your ears!

You can do this as a basic version or if you have access to a resistance band you can use that to make it a little more difficult.

Start with arms out in front at shoulder height. Relax your upper shoulders and begin to squeeze between your shoulder blades and draw your elbows back. Your upper shoulders should remain relaxed throughout. If you feel them popping up, go slower, and really squeeze your mid back and stick your chest out a little. I know this one is tough if you struggle with tense shoulders but I promise the persistence and results are worth it! Build up to 2 x 10.

Hips

We are actually going to perform the test we did for hip stability as the fix.

Start lying on your back, feet flat on the floor. Lift your elbows and put your hands on your hip bones to feel what they are doing. Go up into a bridge position and keeping your hips lifted and level lift alternate feet off the floor. If you can’t do this without falling over make the movement smaller and just lift your heel up keeping your toe down. Build up to 2 x 10 each leg.

Ankles.

Again there are many different ways of doing it, however I have kept this simple and no/minimal equipment.

Calf raises can be done on the floor, or off a step on two legs or one-if you like a challenge! If you are on the floor you just lift your heel to balance on the ball of your foot and slowly go back down again. This can be done on two legs or one. If you are using a step, balance on the ball of your feet/foot and drop the heel down and then raise it up. Do this slowly and without bouncing. Build up to 2 x 10 each side if single leg.

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