Shoulder and Back Stretch for Seniors

Remember the old water well hand pump? Fortunately, my viewing audience for eldergym.com is of the age that maybe even they had one at home! Hand pumps are a wonderful illustration of using a lever. When we push down on one end, we suck up water from the well on the other end. In other words, because there is a long lever, it allows us to easily move the piston to bring up the ground water. Now let’s take that analogy and apply it to our arms and upper body. Try this: Hold your arm straight out in front of you at shoulder level. Now pump your arm up and down like the water pump. The movement is causing a lot of stretching at your shoulder joint because of the long lever, which is your arm. This week I will show you a great example of using this principle of the lever, to stretch out your shoulders and upper back. First we will stretch our chest by pulling our arms behind us and lifting them up. This stretches our pectoral muscles and front ribs by the levering action of our arms pulling back and up. Then we will stretch our back by performing the same action with the arms, but now facing in the front direction. First interlace your fingers and bring your arms up in front with elbows...

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