Upper-body tightness can slow you down. Here’s how to loosen up.– By Jim and Phil Wharton
All the hours we spend slumped over a desk can cause tightness in the neck, upper back, and shoulders, which can carry over to running. Holding tension in the upper body is one of the most common problems runners have.
When your shoulders inch up toward your ears, it prevents your arms from swinging freely forward and back. Your arms take a less natural side-to-side motion, which is a waste of energy and can cause unnecessary fatigue.Try this experiment to see what we mean: Hike up your shoulders and hold your arms slightly out. Now stay in that position for five minutes. Tough, huh? Now, imagine staying like that for the duration of an entire race. To unlock your shoulders, we recommend these exercises.Get FlexibleSitting all day can strain your neck and shoulders. Taking mini stretch breaks throughout the day will provide relief.
Neck: Lower your right ear toward your right shoulder. Press gently down on your temple with your fingertips. Hold, release, and repeat 10 times on each side.
Shoulder: Raise your right arm up, keeping your elbow locked and your palm facing forward. Grasp your arm between the elbow and shoulder with your left hand. Pull gently, hold, release, and repeat 10 times on each side.
Get Strong: This move strengthens the rhomboids and the trapezius muscles, which control and stabilise the upper back and shoulders. Do this twice a day to alleviate tension and improve your running form.
1. Let your arms hang relaxed at your sides with palms facing in.2. In one slow, continuous motion, rotate your shoulders upward, backward, downward, and forward, bringing them toward each other. Hold for a second.3. Do it in reverse, rolling your shoulders until your arms return to the starting position.
4. Do two sets of 10 reps. Hold dumbbells to make it harder.