This is Brent, President of B2C Fitness, and in this video, we're doing an active
stretch for the levator scapulae. So, for doing active stretching, I'm going to assume
that you've already done your release techniques, and that you've probably been
working on that static pocket stretch to help return a muscle that is adaptively
shortened, to its optimal length. I'm going have my friend Salve come out here
and help me demonstrate this exercise. We're going to do a quick kinesiology
lesson, because this is a fairly involved stretch. All right, so our levator scapulae
runs right here on the side of our neck, does a little bit of lateral flexion,
ipsilateral rotation, and extension. That's its cervical spine function. Now
at the scapula, the same muscle does elevation, as its name would imply. The
levator scapulae elevates the scapula, it downwardly rotates the scapula by
pulling up on that internal angle,
alright, that superior angle of the scapula, tilts it this way, as well as
anteriorly tilts the scapula.
So first things first, I want to knock out some of those joint actions. That's a
whole lot of joint actions to think about.
I want to make a stretch that's at least fairly simple to do. So what I'm going to
have Salve do, is she's going to back up against this wall, she's going to step
out a little bit, so she's leaning against the wall. That'll posteriorly
tilt her scapula, and then if I get her to depress her scapula while she's back
in that wall, it'll fix her into a little bit of depression. From here, we can now
do our pocket stretch, which if you've been doing your static stretch, your
client should be well aware of, and all I have to do is add one more action to get
some upward rotation, and we get a nice active stretch. So what I'm going to have
Salve do here, is she's going to go into her pocket stretch, looking down into
this pocket, she's going to use that hand to hold her head in place. I don't want
her pulling on her head with this arm, she's just holding her head in place.
And now she's going to reach up with this arm to force her scapula into upward rotation.
She'll hold for two, and then she'll come back down.
Look straight ahead at me. Good, perfect. Look down.
Hold. By going into upward rotation, she activates all those upward rotators,
which will reciprocally inhibit her levator scapulae. Once again, the goal of
active stretching, is to strengthen our functional antagonists, as well as return
reciprocal inhibition back to optimal, back to the way it should be.
Let's see one more rep here, Salve. So she's going to look down.
She's going to hold, not pull, and then reach up, making sure that she keeps
depressed, though. She's keeping her shoulder down, which Salve is doing a
great job of. I'm going to have you guys see just one more angle, just so you guys can
see which direction her head's going, how she's reaching up. Why don't you go ahead and
flatten yourself against this wall?
Alright guys, I'm going to have her draw in and she's going to, kind of, take that curve out
of her lumbar spine. Good, Salve, so let me have you reach down. You're going into flexion,
contralateral rotation, lateral flexion away. She's holding and she's going to
reach up, hold for two, good, and back down. Now with all active stretches, guys, it's
8 to 15 reps, 2-5 second holds. By the end of your set, you should
start to feel things loosen up a little bit, should start to feel an increase in
extensibility, and of course if you selected the right stretch, after you've
done this, you should move a little better. I hope you guys have enjoyed this