Hi, and welcome back.
In this video, we are going to talk about the upper extremities of posture deviation that some of us can have.
Now, if you are a truck driver, computer programer, or even a CEO of a major corporation, we all work on computers or work with our hands in front of us. A lot of the symptoms of this are if we get tightness right through our shoulders. Which a lot of us do and it keeps massage therapy in business. We also get headaches or tight neck muscles.
If you are working on a computer, your hands are probably in front of you and you are hunched over your desk all day long working on the computer. Or if you are driving a truck or working in a bakery; whatever profession you do, even school work now on the computer, or writing it out, or reading; they are always in front of you.
Now, that is a problem. We can still work and still be productive in society, go to school, and have a handle on our muscle imbalances at the same time. You just need to understand what it is.
There are two things that are happening to us. The first thing is our chest muscle, our pectoralis major and minor muscles. They do two actions. It brings our arm across our body this way and it pronates our arm like that.
Those are the two actions of our chest muscles. So, when you are in front of a computer all day long and you are typing away, your chest muscle is in a shortened position all day long.
Like the example of the bicep and tricep, when the bicep is overworked it can’t extend all the way. Well, the same thing happens from all the computer work, truck driving, factory work, dentistry, or whatever you do. It doesn’t matter. A lot of us have that forward hand motion because we work with our hands.
The side effect is, because it brings our arm across our body and pronates our arm, when we are done, we don’t have a squared shoulder posture. Our chest is tight and it pulls our shoulder forward and we pronate our arm.
Remember, the chest muscle does two things. It brings our arm across our body and it pronates the arm. So, when we are walking around, go and look in the mirror and see if your palms are facing behind you – I mentioned this in the article too – chances are, you’ve got an upper posture deviation where your chest is too tight. It should be like this where your palms are perfectly pointing right to the side of you, and it should be happening naturally without you thinking about it.
If you have to consciously go like this, yeah, I turned my palms, but I didn’t fix the problem in my chest. So, just by consciously thinking about your posture and moving your hands like that all day long, that didn’t do anything to what is going on up here.
So, when you do this test, make sure you don’t ruin it. Just look in the mirror and see whether you are like this or like this, or somewhere in between.
The second thing that happens; our lat muscles: If you lift up your arm and you see your armpit, you have a muscle in the front. That is your chest muscle. That is the tight muscle we just talked about.
The muscle in the back is your lat muscle. You have seen people in the gym do a lat pull down. Well, if you haven’t, and if you are not used to working out, our lat muscle does all our pulling action.
Imagine starting a chainsaw or a lawnmower. You are pulling. That is your lat muscle right back through here. So, this is the extension. This is the contraction because we pull the bar down. When you are on the computer it is in a shortened position.
What happens is, when that becomes too tight and you get up from the desk, your shoulder dips down forward like that. Now, you put two together. Your chest muscle comes across this way, so it pronates your arm, and then your shoulder dips forward.
So now, you are tight through here, but you are not going to walk around like this, kind of hunched forward. You are going to lift your head up and walk around like this, you don’t even know you have a problem.
Now, I feel tightness all the way through here, just by getting myself into that position. That is a problem for a lot of Americans. It will even cause your shoulder to hurt.
For those of you who are going to the gym and you are trying to work out, and you have this shoulder funk going on, you are trying to do some chest presses or pushups and it is just not feeling well, chances are your chest is too tight and your lats are too tight and it is causing some grinding in that shoulder joint.
So, we need to fix that upper posture balance prior to exercising. That is why I work on muscle imbalances with all of my clients prior to lifting really heavy.
Now, how do we solve this? For every muscle there is an opposite muscle. For every bicep there is a tricep. Well, the chest muscle happens to have an opposite muscle in the back.
So, in between our shoulder blades are our rhomboid muscles. See how I pinched my shoulder blades in the back? Those muscles bring the shoulder blades together. When we have that deviation because of all the keyboard work, we didn’t work our back muscles nearly enough throughout the day.
I know you are not working out during the day. You are focused on work tasks, but there are things we can do to counteract that. So, we have to stretch the chest muscle and work the rhomboids in the back in order to equal out that imbalance. And then over time, without you even thinking about it, your posture will be better. Your shoulders will be feeling better. And you can lift that 1000 pound chest press before you know it.
I know that sounds kind of funny and extreme, but apparently now there is a guy in California, an 85 year old man, who lifted 620 pounds dead lift right off the floor. Now, that is inspirational. I can even do that; so good job to him. That just goes to show you that anybody can do this stuff.
So now, the lats. For those of you who have been in the gym and you have seen that lat pull down machine… Now, what is this range of motion representing? What is the opposite range? It is when you push upwards. You pull down. You push up. If you had a weight in your hand you would be working your shoulder muscles.
Our deltoids, our shoulder muscles, are the opposite muscles to our lat muscles. When we are working all day, our shoulder muscles are in a lengthened position and they are not being worked at all unless you have to stack boxes on top of a storage shelve someplace. Then we might be working our shoulders.
But, if we are just at a computer desk or working at a factory with our hands in front of us, chances are we are not getting enough shoulder work in our loves. That lat muscles pulls that shoulder down. So, by stretching out our lat muscles, working out our shoulders, in a proper range of motion, mind you, just by…
You might see some shoulder press machines in the gym that are connected to a lever and you can go like this. But, notice my range of motion. I am going from here to here. I am not going from here to here; all the way up.
Remember the bicep example going from here to here? Yeah, I can do a bicep curl from here to here, but I am not able to extend all the way. Or I am able to do a tricep extension out to there, but I am not able to extend all the way.
Same thing. Those machines won’t help those shoulders go the full range of motion, not like a free weight or not like the specific muscle balance training exercises that I have in other videos that we are going to have for you to do to fix this.
You really have to stretch out the lats, work those shoulder muscles in a proper range of motion, stretch out the chest, work the rhomboids in the back, and bring those shoulders up there. Now I took a lot of that stress off.
I want to talk about headaches a little bit and neck stiffness. There is a reason why we are sore through here, for people who are. When your chest muscle is tight it brings that shoulder forward, and then your shoulder dips down forward because your lat is tight.
Then you feel the stretch out through here. It feels tight. Then you want to get a massage, but two hours later you feel that tightness again. It is because it is tight, but it is not tight like you think it is.
It is stretched like a drum. You can massage a snare drum all you want, but it is still going to be a snare drum and it is not going to loosen up. What you have to do is give it slack.
And because all these muscles are tight and that is your problem and chronic area, you have to know what is going on. It is because your chest muscle and your lat muscle are creating the tightness through here.
It is not because this needs massaged. You need to loosen up the chest muscles and your lats that are causing that. What is the cause of the problem? Not where is the pain, where is the cause so we can have a solution to it?
So, when we loosen up the chest muscles, again, our lat muscles – I repeat myself so you guys can understand – strengthen up the shoulders, strengthen up the back, when we release that, now these muscles all just relax, and now they are instantly feeling better on me.
I don’t need to go into that masseuse, even though a massage is great and I am not against it at all. I actually recommend it. It feels a lot better, and that is going to give you a permanent fix as opposed as just a temperamental fix, because you have got to solve the problems.
So, that is upper extremities and that is a brief description of how we can fix that. We are going to go into exercises later based on your specific needs in order to solve that through what I call form rolling, which is a self-myofascial release, which we will talk about later – the different formal exercises and the different exercises to target the shoulders and the rhomboids in order for you to get those results happening.
Our next video is going to talk about lower back pain and the Lumbo-Pelvic-Hip Complex, which is our hips and middle extremities, and how we can solve that.