A stretch & massage option for the sternocleidomastoid muscles.
☯️💙A stretch & massage option for the sternocleidomastoid muscles. The scm muscles originate on the medial aspects of the clavicles ( collarbones) and the later upper edges of the manubrium sternum, and attaches to the mastoid processes of the temporal bone and the superior nuchal line of the occipital bone of skull.
The actions of the scm, include :
* Unilateral contraction creates flexion, and rotation of the head to the opposite side.
* Bilateral contraction causes elevation of the head, dorsal extension. And supports inhalation when the head is in a fixed position - still.
💥The sternocleidomastoid muscles can become tight and painful from frequent looking downward at phones, computers, kids, reading, etc..
And from sleeping prone - face down with head turned to one side, tight chest muscles, shallow breathing, looking & tilting head upward for long periods, whiplash, etc.
💙 A stretch for the right side scm includes bending your head to the left shoulder & tilting your chin right and upward. To stretch the left scm, simply do the reverse on the opposite side. Bend - tilt the head to the right shoulder & tilt your chin upward & to the left.
Be careful not to crank down hard on the head so as not to strain the muscles, pinch nerves and the cervical vertebrae. No rush. Just start gently & allow the muscles to gradually release. Breathe slow & deeply.
One self-massage option is to sensitively grasp the scm muscle between thumb & forefinger. Then compress - squeez the muscle for a few seconds or longer as a pressure release. Another option - gently knead the muscle between the fingers. A 3rd option is to use 1 or more fingers pressed firmly at one end of the muscle and gliding toward the other end.
This option supports releasing - "stretching" pectoral, biceps and anterior deltoid muscles & fascia. By shifting angles of the torso and arms relative to what we are gripping, varied areas of muscles & fascia can be emphasized.
Tight pectorals ( chest ) muscles, and anterior deltoids to an extent, are fairly common. Partly due to how often people round chest, shoulders & neck forward, looking at computers, phones, driving, picking up & cradling babies & animals, slouching, reading, etc.. That shortens & tightens pectorals - chest region. Which perpetuates the rounding forward postural strain created as weight shifts off-center forward of spine central equilibrium line. That also somewhat compresses the thoracic - ribcage & heart area, diminishing breathing capacity. Along with contributing to excess tension, strain & pain in neck, back & hips as they overextended and tighten trying to maintain semi-upright posture.
Opening the anterior torso - chest region helps deepen and smooth our breathing, opens our heart 💗 center, helps relax more deeply into natural equilibrium - alignment and grounding, and supports greater comfort & ease in neck, back, hips and whole kinetic chain.
Back & postural strengthening options using resistance band.
Back & postural strengthening options using resistance band 💙 ☯️ Strengthening spinal erectors, lats, trapezius, teres major, gluteus, guads... using a resistance band. ☯️💙
Option with variations for helping correct & preventing forward hunching & rounding of chest, shoulders & back which contributes to hip, back & neck pain & postural imbalances. Such forward caving of chest, torso & head , rounding of back, commonly occurs when sitting, looking at computers, phones, kids, etc...especially when done for extended periods of time.
Strengthening rhomboids, traps, lats, glutes...& opening anterior chest & torso helps bring body back into central equilibrium - alignment. Thereby using less energy to maintain optimum alignment when standing, sitting and moving. And allowing lungs to expand & release more freely, deepening breathing and increasing oxygen intake. By looping band over wrists & relaxing hands, the rhomboids, traps & lats can be more directly utilized.
Arching torso backward a bit from ground up through body provides some change for fascia - alignment to as a counterbalance to forward rounding patterns.
A basic anterior hip opening, glute strengthening option.
Sitting long hours? Tight psoas? Weak glutes? This basic movement helps tone the gluteal ( butt ) muscles, release constricted anterior hips, support standing stability among other benefits.
These can also be done without the resistance band, of course. Avoid arching the lumbar area. Focus on using glutes, not the hamstrings.
A few options nourishing strong & pliable feet & ankles.
A few simple, effective options to help develop & maintain strong, pliable feet & ankles. 😀💙
Glute strengthening. Relief of low back, hip pain & long sitting ☯️💙
Sitting often? Low back pain? Weak glutes? This option helps strengthen glute medius & maximus. Helps improve hip stability & balance. Balances postural conditioning from frequent sitting and hip flexion.
Avoid arching & relying on lower back muscles. Use glute maximus & medius to raise legs to horizontal, then slowly abduct outward to the sides & adduct back to midline...repeating for a minute or longer.
If you feel lumbar - lower back pain, make sure you are not arching lower back, but are using your glutes to control legs.
A few hip opening options.
Most people tend to be tight, contracted in the anterior hip, chest & shoulder areas. Partly from much time spent sitting, and posture lapses while looking at phones, holding babies, reading and many other activities involving forward movement and posture.
Some causes of lower back pain, hip pain, even discomfort & tension in other areas from compensation, can involve psoas, anterior hip & thigh fascia & muscles being overly contracted & tight. Sometimes that is also caused by weakness in those areas, in which case strengthening these muscles is as important as stretching for balance.
This video shows a few simple options for opening & releasing fascial & muscular contraction in psoas and anterior hip & thigh region.
Upper back stiff & painful? Tennis balls can help. ☯️💙
Tennis balls are a simple, helpful option for helping release excess muscular & fascial tension, constriction & pain in some instances. The balance of some firmness with resilient springy quality provides an effective pressure while still being comfortable.
Rolling slowly, attentively along outside ( not on ) spine, releasing spinal erectors, trapezius, rhomboids, lats, elevator scapula, serratus & other muscles & surrounding fascia provides welcome relief. Aiding release of stiffness, pain & adhesion's developed from poor posture, injuries, workout soreness, etc..
Resistance band pull downs.
Resistance band pull downs. Strengthening lats, triceps, biceps, squat...
Releasing lats, traps, intercostals option 💙☯️.
Among additional benefits, releasing the lats, traps and intercostal muscles & fascia facilitates easier, deeper breathing as the rib cage expands and contracts more freely.
Releasing lats & traps can also help reduce or prevent some issues of hip, shoulder & neck pain and headaches caused by over contraction in the origins and attachments & connected fascia.