Cut Your Holiday Stress with Shop-ilates
Step 1—Posture Push
This key Shop-ilates move is perfect for the grocery store. Start with your hands shoulder-width apart on your shopping cart, and use your lats, shoulders and hands together to work on your chest and shoulders.
While you wait in line or throughout your shopping trip, try for 20 repetitions of pushing and pulling your cart (add a small child or 25-pound turkey for resistance) while standing in place. Exhale on the push and inhale on the pull. Remember the spine rolling technique of mindful moving, and slow four counts.
I have a feeling this season will find you gathering up filled bags and heading from store to store. Utilize all that time spent walking with front-reach shoulder presses.
Start with your arms bent at the elbow, resting on your hips with bags in hand. Slowly reach forward with palms upward. Alternate reaches for 20 repetitions. This will strengthen your shoulders and biceps and help with your upper back posture.
Shuffling off to Buffalo this holiday season? Even a "small" luggage cart may weight up to 50 pounds these days. Think twice about how you move, because your shoulders matter.
Gripping your "wheelie bag" or small cart with your palm facing forward can injure or tear rotator cuff muscles. Instead, push your luggage or bend your arm as you pull it along with palm facing backward, thumb toward the body. Using the luggage like a washboard (forward and back pushes to the front or behind you) can tone up those triceps and prevent "Bingo Betty" arms. Try for 20 repetitions while traveling to both front and back and on each arm.
The trip to grandma's house may be over the hills and through the woods, but it's also behind a wheel stuck in traffic.
While you are in a parked position, use your headrest to help strengthen the back of your neck. Pull your chin down and lift tall through the top of your head as you press back gently to the headrest in your car. As a passenger, you can practice this simple neck strengthening exercise for 10- to 30-second holds along the way. You'll find less pressure on your mid and lower back and, as a positive side effect, better posture.
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