Rami's Blog

Like the Yin-Yang, Eastern Martial Arts and Western medicine are two halves of a whole. My mission is to preserve the ancient mind-body tools, and pass them on to you.

 

Hey Rami! Tightness in my upper back, neck, and shoulders.

I get questions about the upper back, neck, and shoulders all the time. Maintaining flexibility in these areas is key to performance for athletes. But even if you aren't throwing fastballs or doing bench press on a daily basis, you can still benefit from loosening the soft tissue.

Do you find yourself hunching your shoulders all day, or slouching over at your computer? How about in your car when you drive to work? It's very common! Today's modern lifestyle puts our upper back and neck under constant strain, and I developed a stretch, based on ancient Tai Chi forms, to address just this problem.

It's called Iron on the Wall, and here is an extra tip! Get a partner to help you by standing behind you while you do the stretch. Have them pinch the muscles in between your shoulders and your neck. Have the partner picture you wearing a backpack. Where the two straps would be, that's where they want to pinch! If it hurts, even when your partner isn't pinching that hard, that means you need to relax those muscles more. Put your mind in that space and try to melt away the tension.

Partners, remember, don't pinch the skin! That will always hurt no matter how loose someone's soft tissue is. Pinch the whole muscle. If it feels like a solid rock, that means they aren't as flexible as they should be. But don't sweat! If you follow the regimen in the video, you'll start seeing results in no time.