It was my Wednesday night SoulCycle class with Ian, and when we finally got to the weights section after a crazy-tough out-of-the-saddle run, I was so relieved to sit down and do a bit of arm work.
After the standard set of bicep curls, hammer curls, and over-the-head presses, Ian brought us into a chest-opening move — somewhat like a row, with palms facing up; the intention was to open up the muscles that had been stuck in a hunched position as we leaned over stationary bike handles for about 35 minutes.
He emphasized the importance of the move, and said "I'd have you do this all day if I could," noting that this area of the body isn't particularly strong and that it gets pretty locked up when you're hunched over. This move helps rebalance your body and releases a whole lot of tension from that hunching over.
You know when else you're hunched over? At your desk — typing on your computer, over the keyboard, with your shoulders rolled forward. Or perhaps hunched over on your phone on the subway or hunched forward over your steering wheel commuting home.
Do you get home at the end of the day only feel drained, tense, stiff, and sore? We've got a move that is going to breathe some life into you, erase tension, and help stress melt away . . . all while you get a little posture-balancing back workout, too.
Similar to the weighted move we did in SoulCycle, this Thera-Band chest opener will give your abused, neglected deltoids a good, healthy stretch while working your back and arms. As such, it'll also give you an incredible sense of energy while relieving tension.
Grab a stretchy Thera-Band and hold it out in front of you, then pull your arms away from each other. Keeping your arms perpendicular to the ground, use the muscles in your back between your shoulder blades to bring your arms and shoulders back.
Repeat this move as often as you need; we'd recommend 15 to 20 slow, controlled movements. Let that stress fall away!