Pilates

How do you cue your shoulders?

Shoulders are an issue for so many of us, stress, desk working, carrying and feeding babies, walking with small children, sitting on sofas, having smartphones are just a few reasons why your shoulders may end up rounded.

When I trained in Pilates (quite a few years back!) the emphasis was all on bringing your shoulders round and down, thinking about sliding your shoulder blades into your back pockets. Which is nice cue, it makes sense and has a great visual with it. However as someone who works a lot with postnatal ladies I know that sliding your shoulder blades down can lead to the ribs being thrust forward.

Shoulders round and down works well as long as you don’t then thrust the ribs out. Think about staying in between 2 pains of glass as you roll the shoulds down and back, lengthen through the spine as you do so – this includes lengthening through the neck BTW.

The cue that helps me (a typical rib cage thruster) is shoulders down and wide. If you shrug your shoulders to your ears and then slide them down thinking about your shoulders connecting into your armpits it can help you find your lats – those large back muscles that help keep the shoulder blades in the right place. A nice visual I heard for this recently was to think about a coathanger being in your top. Bringing your shoulders down and keeping them wide.