Thursday, June 5, 2008

Stretching - Figure of '8' Shoulder Rotation

Now if you're anything like me when you get your Shadowboxer VRT you just want to get it on and start punching...BUT WAIT. As I'm sure most of you know but only a few of us do we should stretch before and after an exercise routine. The most commonly agreed upon way to prevent injuries is to stretch. For those of you that do stretch the question is 'do you stretch both major and minor muscles (the muscles that are responsible for keeping the joint aligned)? These minor muscles are often the cause of many injuries, just ask any physio. The best way to stretch them is to roll the joint in a circular motion. This loosens up the minor muscles.

So here's one stretch that is particularly good before using your Shadowboxer VRT.
  • Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and 'soft' knees (slightly bent) and your arms by your side
  • Starting with the left look down at your left hand and (slowly) swing the arm backwards in a large circular motion keeping your eyes on your hand as you go. Also try to go to full range.
  • The arm should now swing forward diagonally across the front of your body continuing downwards toward the right hip.
  • The arms now completes the second part of the figure of '8' movement circling upward to the right shoulder.
  • Finally from the right shoulder the arm continues downwards to the left hip and the original starting position.
  • Remembering to keep movements smooth and let the hand position move naturally, don't force anything, but do try and swing to full range.
  • Repeat 15-20 times on each arm and also reverse directions of the swing.
Note: Following the swing with your eyes and going to full extension will give you a full stretch without putting too much strain on the neck vertebrae or stress on a part of the shoulder that might have a low grade rotator cuff injury.

This stretch comes courtesy of Bruce Miller 7th Dan Quan Li K'an. I attended one of his courses on Acupuncture and Stretching recently. Bruce is a Physician Assistant and Internal Medicine Practitioner also. However, there's no hocas pocas with Bruce as he surprisingly applies Pragmatic Scientific principles to what he teaches and his knowledge of anatomy is deep as it is wide. We hope to get contributions from Bruce in the Future. Click here for his web site.

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