The importance of maintaining muscle strength over 40-Part 3 Arms and Shoulders

The shoulder joint is the most mobile joint in the body in your body.  Unfortunately this also means the most unstable.  The shoulder is a ball and socket joint.  The problem is that the socket into which the ball of the arm bone (humerus) fits is very shallow compared with the hip ball and socket joint and so it is vital that the muscles surrounding the shoulder joint are strong enough to prevent the ball slipping out of the socket resulting in a dislocated shoulder.  However this strength needs to be balanced with flexibility to allow the shoulder joint to have a full range of motion which helps prevent osteoarthritis. 

Shoulder muscles often weaken because of poor posture and conversely it is important to strengthen shoulder muscles to maintain good posture.  

Arm strength too is important for many every day activities such as lifting, pushing and pulling.

The following yoga poses with weights will help increase strength in the muscles of the arms and shoulders.Always start with a small weight and as always check with your doctor before starting a new programme of exercise. 

You might also want to practice the yoga sequence on flexiladiesyoga which has poses for flexibility as well as strength in the arms and shoulders  - 
'Yoga for muscle strength Part 3 Arms and Shoulders'-

Plank with weights (builds core strength and strengthens arm muscles) - start in all 4s with a weight in each hand (start small).  Take your right leg back, drop the right hip a little then bring the left leg to meet it.  To modify release your knees down to the mat.  Inhale, exhale, draw your navel back to your spine and bend your right elbow, lifting the weight up. Inhale to lower.  Repeat 2nd side and continue.  Take a rest in Child's Pose - from Plank inhale drop your knees, release the weights, breathe out take your bottom back to your heels and extend your arms forward.  When you are ready come to standing.

Goddess Squat - with a weight in each hand, step your feet wide and turn your toes out to the corners of the mat. Breathe out, bend both knees, lengthening your tail bone towards the mat, bend your elbows and bring them level with your shoulders.  Breathe in, straighten your legs, take your arms up, breathe out, bend your knees, elbows level with the shoulders and continue for 10 repetitions.

For the next exercise start with your knees bent, elbows tucked into your sides.  Inhale, straighten your legs, take your hands and elbows wide.  Exhale return to the start position and continue for 10 repetitions.

For the final exercise in Goddess Squat have your arms by your side, breathe out and bend your knees.  Breathe in and straighten your legs as your circle your arms up and out to the sides, bringing your weights level with the shoulders, breathe out and return to your start position.  Continue for 10 repetitions.  Come to standing.  

Warrior 3 - stand tall with your weights in your hands.  Breathe in and as you breathe out hinge forward as you lift your right leg and extend your arms towards the floor.  Breathe in, bend your elbows back, bringing your fists to your rib cage level.  Breathe out extend your arms to the mat. Continue for 5 repetitions then repeat with the left leg raised. To make this easier place the foot of the raised leg on a wall or keep both feet on the ground as you hinge forward.  

You may also like:-

'The importance of maintaining muscle over 40-Part 1 Legs'

'The importance of maintaining muscle over 40-Part 2 Core'

Stay strong, stay healthy
Janet x 

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