Chiropractors see patients with many complaints ranging from headaches and back pain, to runny noses, allergies and hiccups. However the bulk of what we Chiropractors see seems to be the same few complaints: back pain, neck pain, and headaches.
In my Grapevine Chiropractic clinic, I am no different. Lately I have seen an influx of patients with the same complaint, “pain between the shoulder blades”. I blame this on one big issue…today many Americans are plagued with a condition that I call “crappy-work-at-desk-job-forward-slouch-it is”. Really just about all of us spend too much time either at the computer, or in front of the TV. This causes weakened back and shoulder muscles leading to rounded shoulders and an unsupported cervical and thoracic spine. If you don’t have a gym membership, stay tuned for the no-gym shoulder exercises. If you do have a gym membership, this exercise for shoulder and back pain is just what the Chiropractor ordered. An inverted pushup is what I call this exercise (a bit of a misnomer) because you aren’t really pushing anything. The Inverted pushup is great for back, neck and shoulder pain, but will also help tone your arms and shoulders (ladies?). This exercise is easy to start, but will get very tough, very quickly.
To start, find the “Squatting Rack” at your local Gym (these pictures are taken at the 24hour fitness in Southlake Texas)
Place a barbell on one of the lower positions in the rack; should be just out of arm’s reach from the ground.
Next lie on your back, under the bar and reach up for the bar with an overhand grip.
Now for the exercise:
1) To start, make your body rigid, squeeze your glutes, and tighten your core muscles. You should look like you are in an upside down pushup position.
2) Squeeze your shoulder blades together in the back. Imagine you are trying to pinch and hold a pencil between your shoulder blades. This is the MOST IMPORTANT STEP OF THE EXERCISE!!!
*If you are able to perform this step you are on the right track.
3) With your shoulder blades drawn together, pull your chest toward the bar.
4) Slowly let your body back down to the starting position, relaxing the shoulder blades.
This is ONE rep.
Continue until fatigue (the usual 3 sets of 10 reps should be fine.)
*if you are unable to pull yourself up to the bar, you are not alone. Focus on completing steps 1 and 2.
The inverted pushup is one of my favorite exercises, because 1) it is great for shoulder and back pain but more importantly, it is a total body workout, hitting the hamstrings, glutes, upper and low back, as well as arms and shoulders. I would suggest this exercise for almost all of my Chiropractic patients in Grapevine.
-Britton A. Taylor, DC
“To keep you at your best, for the rest of your life.”
Taylor Chiropractic Center