What is your body’s most mobile joint?
It’s the shoulders.
Just think about it. You can move your shoulders pretty freely (we hope) in all directions. What other joint can do that? Your shoulders are one of the body’s two ball-and-socket joints — the hips being the other. So, they’re built for a lot of movement.
But as we age, we tend to slump into a rounded posture, which not only looks bad but can lead to muscular dysfunction and health issues.
Functionally, limited range of motion makes it harder to reach overhead and grab that dish from the cabinet, and other routine tasks. Plus, if your shoulders get really tight and you’re hunched like a Neanderthal, your upper body caves in and can restrict your breathing.
Every year in the US, some 50,000 shoulder surgeries are performed, with the average age for women 60, and the average age for men 56. But there’s a lot you can do before that becomes necessary. Try icing it if your shoulder hurts, or talk to your doctor about non-steroidal anti-inflammatories.
And, whether you’re new to exercise or an old pro, remember to take time to get your shoulders free and flowing in all directions. Try these exercises to start:
- Simple arm rotations (with arms out to the sides and making small circles, first to the front and then to the back)
- Arm swings, criss-crossing them
- Arm reaches high overhead
- Downward dog yoga pose
We’re here to show you how to keep your shoulders strong, mobile, and healthy. Come see us today.
Holly Kouvo is a personal trainer, functional aging specialist, senior fitness specialist, brain health trainer, writer, and speaker.