Chest Circles

To get the feel of the forward and back movement in your chest, cross your arms at the elbows in front of you, then try to touch your elbows behind your back (which you won’t be able to actually achieve unless you are a contortionist!). Repeat this a few times while moving your arms, in order to feel the muscles working in your upper to mid-back and the stretch across your chest. Next, anchor your hands on your hips and attempt to get the same range of motion using only your back muscles.

When moving from side to side, there is a tendency for the shoulder in the direction you are moving to come up towards your ear and for your head to move, but it is very important to resist this. Make sure that both shoulders remain at the same level, parallel to the floor. If you need to, put your hands on your hips to anchor and practice sliding the rib cage left and right in the mirror to make sure that your breasts and shoulders remain level and your head remains in the same place — only the rib cage moves.

Next, attempt to move front, left, back, then right (counter-clockwise) if you are right-handed, and front, right, back, left (clockwise) if you are left-handed. This will most likely be the easier direction. Once you have mastered this direction, attempt the other direction. Make sure your shoulders stay parallel to the floor, head does not move, and breasts remain at the same level as each other. Practice in both directions! Done correctly, this move will both help to alleviate upper back, neck and shoulder pain caused by driving and typing on a computer, as well as stretch, strengthen and balance muscles in order to prevent future pain. As is can be performed while seated, this is a great exercise to practice when stopped at a red light in traffic, or at your desk at work – just make sure the boss is not watching!