My name is Takuto Fujioka, an occupational therapist specializing in guitarists. Thank you for always reading!
The other day, I went to a barber shop that I used to go to when I was in elementary school for the first time in ages, and they cut my hair by about three times as much as I had requested. I once again realized how difficult it is to communicate an image using only words... As I write this column, I will try to convey the content as clearly as possible.
By the way, I wrote a column about "rolling shoulders" earlier. This time, I would like to introduce stretches that will improve your rolled shoulders in the continuation from that column!(Refer to the previous column for rolled shoulders)
The goal this time is to improve your rolled shoulders by softening the muscles around the shoulder blades and creating a posture that does not cause fatigue.
Before actually stretching, let's review the benefits of soft movement of the scapula.
1. Less tired
As I wrote in the previous column, roughly speaking, stiff muscles = get tired easily. In particular, there are many muscles around the shoulder blades, so by loosening these muscles, you will become less tired.
2. Stability of the arms and fingers improves.
The scapula is a so-called unstable foundation that is attached to the trunk so that it hangs from muscles. If the muscles around the shoulder blades are stiff and out of balance, the arms and fingers connected to them will be affected. On the other hand, if the shoulder blades can be moved flexibly enough to handle any movement, the operability of the hands will improve accordingly.
3. The sense of rhythm improves (maybe)
This depends on practice, but the more flexible your body is, the easier it is to catch and keep a rhythm.
Whether you’re a musician or not, soft shoulder blade muscles are not the only benefit.
I think that many modern people, especially musicians, have stiff shoulders and "rolled shoulders".
Since the physical condition differs from person to person, it cannot be said unconditionally, but it is possible to keep the scapula in a soft state by following the points below and moving the scapula.
Let's get to it!
First, try "clasping hands behind your back" to check the flexibility of your shoulder blades!
I can manage to reach, but it's still hard... Lol
Especially on the right side... I will devote myself to fixing this.(>_<)
For those who can "clasp their hands behind their back", just doing this will be a good exercise around the shoulder blades, so please try stretching!
If you can't do this, continue practicing to move your shoulder blades little by little every day. If you are saying to yourself, "I want to heal my shoulders!" or "I want to soften my shoulder muscles!" your body will surely change.
For the time being, today I would like to introduce two very simple stretches that can be done by monkeys (?!) to improve your rolled shoulders. I hope you will take this opportunity to remember these! The first one looks like this.
- Bring your hands behind your back and clasp them.
- This is going to open your chest. At the same time, it moves the scapula toward the spine. At this time, it is good if you can extend your elbows and keep your hands away from your bottom.
It feels like your stretching backwards.
If you can't do it with the above method, you can try this method as well!
- With your arms tucked in, bend your elbows and open your hands outward.
- It is good to imagine stretching your chest, and this way your shoulder blades will approach your spine.
The point to note is not to force yourself, but to sense the "feeling of bones and muscles moving".
The second stretch looks like this.
- Raise both hands in a banzai manner
- While turning your hands diagonally behind you, lower your arms.
The important points are the same as the first stretch, and it is perfect if you feel these two things - "open the chest firmly" and "pull the shoulder blades toward the spine". Please be aware of moving them a lot.
These are just stretches, so don't put too much effort into them.
What did you think!? The important points are "to stretch your chest firmly" and "to feel the sensation of the shoulder blades moving".
If you feel pain, don't overdo it, and try to do it within a range that makes you feel no pain while moving!
When these stretches becomes a habit, you should be able to get rid of the rolled shoulders (should!), so please give them a try.
Also, I would be grateful if you could work on daily physical maintenance before and after playing the guitar!
If you have any concerns about your physical condition or posture related to guitar or music, please contact me on my official LINE account（https://lin.ee/6AGJ9JX）and I will answer your questions to the best of my ability!! Please feel free to contact me( ^ω^ )
See you later!