The Wall Angel Exercise is a popular rehabilitation and corrective exercise often incorporated into fitness or rehabilitation routines. When performed correctly, it offers numerous benefits. Here’s a breakdown of its purpose:
1. Postural Correction:
2. Shoulder Mobility:
Wall Angels help improve the range of motion in the shoulders. By moving the arms up and down while trying to maintain contact with the wall, the exercise challenges and improves shoulder flexion and scapular mobility. Even just starting with the arms contracted back in a neutral anatomical position without moving the arms up or down creates initial stability in the movement.
3. Strengthening the Scapular Stabilizers:
The muscles around the shoulder blades (scapulae) play a crucial role in shoulder movement and stability. Wall Angels target the scapular stabilizers, particularly the lower trapezius and serratus anterior, which are essential for healthy shoulder function. These are a couple of the muscles that get “turned off” while sitting at a computer for 8 hours per day.
4. Improving Overhead Movement Patterns:
For athletes or individuals who perform overhead activities, such as lifting weights, swimming, or throwing, Wall Angels can help refine overhead movement patterns. This can lead to better performance and a reduced risk of injuries especially tendonitis of the shoulder.
5. Counteracting Rounded Shoulders:
The modern lifestyle often results in a forward head posture and rounded shoulders, especially due to extensive computer and smartphone use. Wall Angels work against this by engaging the muscles of the upper back and promoting external rotation of the shoulders. This will allow the tendons of the rotator cuff to slide more smoothly in their allotted space.
6. Activation of the Rotator Cuff:
The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that stabilize the shoulder. Wall Angels provide a gentle way to engage and strengthen these muscles, making it a suitable exercise for those recovering from shoulder injuries or looking to prevent them.
7. Enhancing Kinesthetic Awareness:
Doing Wall Angels helps individuals develop a better sense of their body’s position in space (proprioception). They’ll become more aware of any asymmetries or imbalances in their movement, allowing for corrections that can lead to better overall movement quality.
8. It's a Low-Impact Exercise:
Wall Angels are gentle on the joints and muscles, making them ideal for individuals of all ages and fitness levels, including those recovering from injuries. Also a great warm up exercise right before any heavy push or pull resisted training exercises in the gym.
In summary, the Wall Angel exercise serves multiple purposes, from correcting posture to improving shoulder health. It’s a versatile exercise that can benefit just about anyone, especially in today’s world, where sedentary behaviors and poor posture are all too common. As always, if someone is considering incorporating Wall Angels into their routine, it’s wise to consult with a chiropractor, physiotherapist, or personal trainer to ensure proper form and technique.
Besides the Wall Angel Exercise, Dr. Mario has great recommendations to strengthening parts of the body and bettering your posture.
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