Step 1

Starting Position: Lie supine (on your back) on an exercise mat or firm surface, bending your knees until your feet are positioned flat on the floor 12-18" from your buttocks. Place your arms at your sides, with elbows fully extended and palms facing inward. Breathe deeply for a 30 seconds relaxing your body and allowing gravity to gently pull your lower back and shoulders towards the floor.

Step 2

Depress and retract your scapulae (pull your shoulder down and back) without increasing the arch in your low back or lifting your hips off the mat / floor. Contract your abdominal / core muscles to flatten your low back into the mat and hold this position throughout the exercise.

Step 3

Slide your arms out from your sides forming a 45-degree angle with your torso, keeping your upper arms making contact with the mat / floor. Bend your elbows to a comfortable position and keep your wrists in a neutral position (aligning the backs of your forearms, wrists and hands).

Step 4

Upward Movement: Exhale and gently rotate your upper arms, sliding the mat / floor to an end position where your hands touch overhead and your elbows have a comfortable bend. Attempt to keep much of the back of your upper arms, forearms, wrists and hands in contact with, or near the mat/ floor and avoid arching your lower back as your rotate overhead.

Step 5

Downward Movement: Inhale and gently rotate your arms back to your starting position, attempting to keep your upper arms, forearms, wrists and hands in contact with, or near the mat/ floor and avoid arching your lower back as your rotate overhead.

This exercise stretches the muscles of your shoulders and lats in a stable and isolated manner. Reducing movement restriction in the shoulder helps minimize the likelihood of shoulder injury and pain. Try performing this exercise adjacent to a mirror that will allow you to monitor any undesired movement in the hips, ribs, shoulder or low-back.

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