Posts

This posterior shoulder stretch is one of my personal favourites. It’s easy to fit into your day—I’ll often do it along with a few neck rolls (or lateral flexor and rotator stretches) when I’m sitting at my desk or waiting for the kettle to boil for a cup of afternoon tea. It helps to “wake up” my body after I’ve been sitting and typing for long periods. 

 

Holding your back comfortably upright, adduct one arm along the transverse plane (parallel to the floor to us non-RMTs!) at shoulder height. With the opposite hand, apply pressure at the elbow.

Denise demonstrating a shoulder range of motion technique.

Breathe deeply while you hold this one, and repeat with the other arm. Then enjoy your tea 😉

Massage is a physical profession, and RMTs need to stay active to be at the top of their game. A good therapist will also be well-versed in exercises that will benefit their clients. Vicars students recieve training in remedial exercise, and our “remex” sessions incorporate exercises and stretches from many sports and athletic traditions. Practice along with us!

Each exercise is demonstrated by Denise Currie. In addition to being an RMT (and our Director!), Denise is a personal fitness trainer and highly regarded yoga practitioner who regularly trains other teachers. 

How are your shoulders feeling after yesterday? Great, I hope! For our second installment of Shoulder Week 2014 (we’re going to make it a thing, just you watch), we have a stretch for your shoulder and elbow flexors.

Standing or sitting upright, pull your shoulders back and lace your fingers behind your back. Extend the shoulder and elbow (bringing your hands away from your body), until you feel a stretch over the anterior shoulder and elbow.

Denise demonstrating a shoulder range of motion technique, arms straight, hands clasped behind her back. This is the view from behind.  Denise demonstrating a shoulder range of motion technique, arms straight, hands clasped behind her back. This is the view from the side.

Hold for several seconds, breathing deeply.

Enjoy!

Massage is a physical profession, and RMTs need to stay active to be at the top of their game. A good therapist will also be well-versed in exercises that will benefit their clients. Vicars students recieve training in remedial exercise, and our “remex” sessions incorporate exercises and stretches from many sports and athletic traditions. Practice along with us!

Each exercise is demonstrated by Denise Currie. In addition to being an RMT (and our Director!), Denise is a personal fitness trainer and highly regarded yoga practitioner who regularly trains other teachers.

Who’s up for a theme week?!

[Pause for wild cheers]

Massage therapists work their whole bodies, but shoulder health is particularly important for this profession. So we decided to devote this entire week on the blog to stretches that will help you maintain or increase the range of motion in your shoulders.

This first stretch is a classic, but it can be challenging. Standing tall, try to meet your fingers behind your back—the closer you can get your hands, the more stretch you’ll feel. Try to keep your upper arms as close to your body as you can, so your forearms make a nearly vertical line. Hold for 10 seconds or more, then repeat on the other side.

Denise demonstrating a shoulder range of motion technique. Her hands are clasped behind her back; one arm reaching over her left shoulder, one reaching up from her waist on the right-hand side.

It’s not uncommon to have your available range vary from shoulder to shoulder, so don’t worry if your fingers don’t meet on one or both sides. If that’s the case, try this variation:

Denise demonstrating a modified shoulder range of motion technique. Her hands are behind her back; one arm reaching over her right shoulder, one reaching up from her left side waist. She is holding a band between her two hands instead of clasping her hands.

Denise has just folded up a dynaband to create a little “extender” between her two hands. As you continue to do this stretch, your range of motion will likely improve and you can get your hands closer together or even abandon the dynaband altogether!

Massage is a physical profession, and RMTs need to stay active to be at the top of their game. A good therapist will also be well-versed in exercises that will benefit their clients. Vicars students recieve training in remedial exercise, and our “remex” sessions incorporate exercises and stretches from many sports and athletic traditions. Practice along with us!

Each exercise is demonstrated by Denise Currie. In addition to being an RMT (and our Director!), Denise is a personal fitness trainer and highly regarded yoga practitioner who regularly trains other teachers.

A woman demonstrating an external shoulder rotation

As I promised yesterday, here’s another great shoulder exercise for RMTs (and others, of course) that uses the dynaband for resistance. Today, it’s an external rotation exercise.

Grab the dynaband with both hands. With your wrists facing up, flex your elbows to 90° and hold your arms close to your body, like this:

shoulder_external_rotation_1-1

Then externally rotate:

Denise demonstrating Resisted Shoulder External Rotation, second picture.

Here’s another view, where you can see the shoulder and upper back muscles that this exercise engages—the posterior deltoid, infraspinatus, and teres minor:

Denise demonstrating Resisted Shoulder External Rotation, third picture.

Hold this position for at least 5-10 seconds, and do 15+ reps, or until fatigue. We recommend doing this one 3x/week, paired with the horizontal abduction from yesterday.

Massage is a physical profession, and RMTs need to stay active to be at the top of their game. A good therapist will also be well-versed in exercises that will benefit their clients. Vicars students recieve training in remedial exercise, and our “remex” sessions incorporate exercises and stretches from many sports and athletic traditions. Practice along with us!

Each exercise is demonstrated by Denise Currie. In addition to being an RMT (and our Director!), Denise is a personal fitness trainer and highly regarded yoga practitioner who regularly trains other teachers.

Shoulder Horizontal Abduction Exercise

Today and tomorrow, we’re presenting two very important exercises for massage therapists. The first installment is a resisted shoulder horizontal abduction (or A-B-duction, as our students often carefully pronounce it) with the dynaband:
Start by holding your arms abducted to 90°, with one end of the band in each hand.

Denise demonstrating Resisted Shoulder Abduction, picture one.

With your elbows extended, horizontally abduct the shoulders along the transverse plane (ie, keeping your arms parallel to the ground, bring your arms out to your sides):

Denise demonstrating Resisted Shoulder Abduction, picture two.

Hold this position for at least 5-10 seconds, and do 15+ reps, or until fatigue. We recommend doing this one 3x/week.

The resisted shoulder horizontal abduction is great for RMTs, because it helps balance the strength in your shoulder complex by keeping posterior shoulder and upper back muscles strong.

Massage is a physical profession, and RMTs need to stay active to be at the top of their game. A good therapist will also be well-versed in exercises that will benefit their clients. Vicars students recieve training in remedial exercise, and our “remex” sessions incorporate exercises and stretches from many sports and athletic traditions. Practice along with us!

Each exercise is demonstrated by Denise Currie. In addition to being an RMT (and our Director!), Denise is a personal fitness trainer and highly regarded yoga practitioner who regularly trains other teachers.