Tips for straightening arms over head

hello -

when i straighten my arms overhead either my ribcage pops forward or my shoulders shrug up towards my ears… i also have the tendency to jut my head forward. what is going on anatomically?

any suggestions for classes or postures to assist with this would be much appreciated - thanks!

Hello, try to keep your arms far apart, so that your hands will not touch over head, then circle your shoulders, up, back and down“ and direct your „floating ribs gently towards your spine“ - you may want to try this fistt with your arms down - it may sometimes takes a while to correct our postures and learn new habits. How is it in Adho Mukha - ( downeard faciu dog) ? Good luck and patience;))

Hi! One thing I learned by taking some of Melissa Krieger’s classes is that if you keep a slight bend in your arms when they’re overhead, it automatically helps your shoulders drop down. The shape would be like a gentle “oval” above your head with your arms instead of keeping them stick straight.
In addition, as far as the ribs popping out, I try to remember to tighten my core and tuck my pelvis under, and that helps.

The same thing often happens for me if I go for super straight arms. My shoulders inch up towards the ears. Like another has suggested, even a slight bend can help, or allow the hands to point out at a slight angle, rather than straight up. Sometimes when I am practicing with this, I find if I realize I am a little annoyed that my shoulders are up towards my ears, I can then take a breath and relax them just a bit (letting the annoyance go!).

thanks for your suggestion and the reminder about patience :slight_smile:

thanks for these tips!

definitely can relate with the annoyance - thanks for the reminder to breathe it out and relax!

Well this is a great example of hive mind and community learning!!!

All of these are great suggestions to explore. One thing to keep in mind is that the way our upper arm bone sits in the shoulder socket can influence our ability to take the arms overhead without creating a backbend. I will actually be talking about this issue in the upcoming Asana lab workshop this Weekend! I hope you all can attend!

1 Like