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Written By NaviPay Blog Contributor:
Benjamin Slovak, CPTS
Enhanced Functional Training of Stuart
Special-Population, Post-Rehabilitation & Functional Training Specialist

Living this quarantine lifestyle, with all of the downtime and the working from home that goes along with it, some of us may develop some discomfort in the neck or back.  Sometimes it can even get so bad it wakes you up in the middle of the night! 

Now, our big “prime mover” muscles (pecs,lats,traps,deltoids) will still function just fine for most everyday tasks, but all the sedentary time causes our “stabilizer” muscles (rotator cuffs, rhomboids, serratus anterior, levator scapulae, para-spinals) to become under-active which tends to cause discomfort. These are the “supporting cast” to our BIG “prime mover” muscles, the muscles we use to maintain our posture.

Here is a 3-Step “Carry” progression that will really engage the “supporting cast” of muscles, help you straighten out your posture and prevent aches and pains.

Step 1 – Farmers Carry

Squeeze shoulder blades pulling shoulders back (imagine squeezing a pencil between your shoulder blades so it couldn’t fall to the ground)

  • Stick out the rib cage ever so slightly and tilt the hips back, you should feel every muscle in your back and spine engage
  • Choose a weight you can carry for 45 seconds maintaining proper form
  • Work up to doing 1 minute then add weight 
  • Walk around the house or outside and make sure to make left and right turns, do not just walk a straight line

*** FOLLOW FARMERS CARRY CUES FOR ALL VARIATIONS***

Step 2 – 90 Degree Bicep Carry 
  • Now we work 1 arm at a time (asymmetrical), weak arm first, strong-arm second
  • With a weight in one hand, make a 90-degree angle with your elbow joint (like carrying a tray of food with one hand), palm up
  • Try to keep the elbow next to the front part of the rib cage best you can (heavier the weight the harder this is) 
Step 3 – The Overhead Carry (a.k.a. The Statue of Liberty Carry) 
  • Once again you are working weak side first, strong side second (asymmetrical)- With weight in one hand, extend your arm straight up above your head, FULLY EXTEND!
  • Be sure to squeeze that shoulder blade, pulling the arm back so your bicep is next to or behind the ear (should feel the shoulder joint stabilize)

“Carry’s” are great to add in at the end of a circuit or at the end of your workout as a cool down. The SLOWER you walk the better your posture will be, so do not feel like you need to walk fast, SLOW and STEADY is the way to go. Remember, a minute is a minute no matter how fast you walk. Plus, where are you going so fast these days anyways?!?

Benjamin Slovak
Enhanced Functional Training of Stuart
Owner/Head Trainer
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