If you have bad posture and/or neck and shoulder problems, this could be a good exercise for you. The angel wings exercise is a way to retrain the shoulder blade muscles and open up the front of the chest, two important aspects of good posture.
For this exercise, stand with your back to a wall, your feet about 4-6 inches away. Lean back and tuck your tailbone under so back is flat against the wall. Bring the arms out to the side with elbows bent and backs of forearms touching wall. Tuck your chin, with back of your head pressed into wall. Maintain contact with the wall with the back, head, shoulder blades, and forearms, and raise arms above head as high as you can; slowly bring them back to the starting position. Repeat 8-10 times, or until you are unable to complete a repetition with correct form. Rest 30-60 seconds and perform another set.
Angel wings strengthens and trains the upper, middle, and lower trapezius, as well as stretches the soft tissue in front of the shoulders including the pectoralis major and minor muscles. Strength and motor control of the trapezii are crucial in maintaining a a stable position of the shoulder blade with overhead activity and is an important muscle in optimal, painfree shoulder motion.
The pectoralis major and minor can often become shortened overtime and contribute to poor posture. Stretching these muscles can help to correct postural imbalances and alleviate neck and shoulder pain.
If you have any questions about this exercise, and whether or not it would be good for you, give us a call at our Avon clinic at (970) 949-9966 or at our Eagle clinic (970) 328-5230 and one of our physical therapists can help you.