“[Thread the needle] is a great stretch for your upper back and shoulders,” says Chloe de Winter, founder of Go Chlo Pilates, in this week’s episode of The right way. Threading the needle involves getting down on your hands and knees and, you guessed it!, reaching an arm under your chest to release tension in your spine, neck and shoulders. It’s a juicy stretch, but according to de Winter, there are a few common mistakes to avoid here.
According to her, the biggest problem she sees is a lack of control in executing the movement pattern. For example, you can get on your knees and then open your arm, which puts you at risk of hurting your neck or straining your back. Instead, says de Winter, this movement should be intentional and slow: You’ll raise one arm, then slowly tuck it under your chest before placing your ear against the floor.
“Another mistake I often see is that the head and neck don’t follow suit,” de Winter explains. Again, in this case, you are making your neck vulnerable by not keeping it aligned with the rest of your spine. Instead, make sure your gaze follows your fingertips as you reach up to the sky, then place your arm under your chest.
Now that you know the two most common mistakes people make with this move, you’re ready to do it the right way. Be sure to watch the full video with de Winter to learn the ins and outs of this exercise. Good shoulder stretching.
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