Forums Discussions Shoulders Back and Down – Why?

  • Shoulders Back and Down – Why?

    Posted by MommaBear on May 4, 2010 at 11:56 am

    Wondering why this is the rule?

    In Jamilla’s DVD, she briefly touches on it, but all I remember is that it helps make pretty muscles in the back.

    I’m guessing it goes beyond that – preventing injuries and such?

    It is hard to grasp this at first because it doesn’t feel natural, and I am able to get way more strength by gripping the way it comes naturally – which is not shoulders down and back.

    I have been trying to "feel" the difference and from what I gather, I am using my popeye muscles (meaning arm muscles – the ones that pop-up on popeye) if my shoulders aren’t back, thus giving me way more strength!

    Using shoulders down and back – the muscles that seem to controlling my strength are – I don’t know It is hard to tell as my entire arm seems to contracted, as well as a bit in my back.

    I always seem to be able to follow rules more when I know precisely how and why I should and the reasoning behind it. Any feedback?

    chemgoddess1 replied 14 years ago 3 Members · 3 Replies
  • 3 Replies
  • polergirl

    May 4, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    The issue is that you could seriously damage your rotator cuff. If you think about it, your back has way, way, way more muscles than your poor shoulder. We have so much flexibility in the shoulder, and it’s because there are very few muscles and a bunch of tendons–not a lot when you consider that you’re asking it to hold your entire body weight WHILE you’re spinning, etc.

    If you keep shoulders back and down, shoulders engaged, you are using your back and core to hold your weight, and the shoulder is freed from that job.

    That’s the Cliff’s Notes version, and Veena or Fleur can, no doubt, explain it much better than I can.

  • MommaBear

    May 4, 2010 at 1:35 pm

    Ahhh, I see. Yup, undoubtedly using those core muscles is going to give you way more strength.

    (((((tapping my fingers and waiting impatiently, as I do not yet have any of that "core strength"))))))

    But, I am still tripped up a bit. I don’t feel like I am using any kind of shoulder muscle when in incorrect form – it feels like I am using my biceps? (popeye muscle) to hold my weight? Is my body tricking me and I am actually straining those shoulder tendons in the process?

    Rotator cuff = meaning the socket that your shoulder moves around, or duh, rotates, in? What happens if you injure that?

    Also, what is meant by "engaging the shoulders"? I got back and down part – but engaged, I’m clueless.

  • chemgoddess1

    May 4, 2010 at 2:00 pm

    Rotator cuff injury is not something that you want to deal with. It has ruined the careers of MANY athletes and will keep you off the pole for MONTHS.

    There are some really good videos on youtube put out by Samsara. She does a great job of explaining body mechanics. Her website is Samsara Pilates and in the links/resources tab is the link to her YT account. She may even have some videos regarding your hip issues.

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