When you practice Scapula placement on the Arc barrel, you get to benefit from the barrel placement. Because the barrel is placed beneath your upper back, it can provide tactile feedback to some important back muscles around the scapulas. Even if you have some muscles that doesn’t like to fire correctly, this feedback from the barrel can normally help activate the most stubborn muscles.
This barrel placement also allows you to stretch your upper back into a supported extension. Relaxing into this supported spinal extension can help reverse rounded posture. Here’s more on how to get the most benefit from practicing Scapula placement on the Arc barrel.
Scapula Placement on the Arc Barrel
- Place the Arc barrel so that the curve seems like a bump in the road on your mat.
- Lean back on the Arc barrel so that your upper back is near the apex of the barrel. You should feel like your head is supported and your heart is opening toward the ceiling.
- Broaden your collarbones.
- Bring your arms straight above your chest, shoulder-width apart. Keep your elbows straight and your palms facing each other.
- Use Pilates breathing throughout.
Inhale and lift your arms. Feel your shoulder blades slide to the sides of your rib cage. This is called protraction.
- Exhale and lower back to neutral position.
- Complete 5-10 reps.
- Inhale and feel the head of your humerus (upper arm bone) slide into the shoulder socket. As it moves, you’ll feel your shoulder blade slightly slide toward your spine. This is called retraction.
- Exhale and return to neutral position.
- Complete 5-10 reps.
- To come out of this position, use you hands to help you tuck your chin to your chest and roll up one vertebra at a time.
The whole key to successfully practicing this exercise is that you challenge yourself to find neutral each time after you move your shoulder blades. In life, your shoulder blades need to be able to move; and then, you need to be able to guide them back to neutral.
Finding the Best Arc Barrel
If you’re in the market for an Arc barrel, I recently compared the top five Arc barrels on the market. Here’s who made my top five list and which barrel I’d buy.
Scapula Placement on the Arc Barrel Video
Here is a video for visual learners.
I think Scapula placement on the Arc barrel feels quite different from on the Mat. What do you think? Which one do you prefer and why? Let us know in the comments below.
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