Happy Friday ya’ll. So normally by this time on Fridays, I’m winding down the work week. But not today, friends. Today is different.

Right now, I’m neck-deep in it. Now thru Sunday, you’ll find me chained to my desk, banging out a chapter or two of my book.

The chapter I’m currently working on is all about shoulders & upper back and the role they play in our ability to run efficiently and comfortably. I also dive into proper mechanics and how they affect running form and breathing. I also offer tools from the worlds of yoga and corrective exercise to help improve both the strength and mobility of these areas. I know, I’m totally geeking out over here. #anatomynerd

Photo Cred: Mike Cadotte, MidAtlantic Photography

So today for Fave Things Friday, I’m sharing a piece of the action because (a) I like you guys … like a lot, (b) I hope you buy the book when it’s released (wink wink) but also (c) I really like to share what I know if it helps people live better and more fulfilling lives.

How cool is that? This week, not only are you getting a sneak peak at some of the strengthening work that I personally use and prescribe for my private clients, but you’re also getting a preview of the types of things that I’ll be including in this awesome book I’m writing which I’m super pumped about! Winning!

Without further ado, here it is … one of my favorite ways to retrain the shoulders out of desk-dweller mode is the Straight-Arm Press Down <—— click this link to see the video.

You could use a lat pull-down or cable machine at the gym or do what I did in the video and rig up your own with a long resistance band and some PVC (seriously, it’ll set you back like $15) — I’m like a fitness MacGyver when it comes to this stuff.

Key things to keep in mind when doing this move:

  1. hands are just wider than shoulder-width;
  2. don’t release tension at either end of the movement;
  3. as the bar moves down toward your legs, pause to squeeze the bottom tips of your shoulder blades together & down on your back as you broaden through your collarbones; and
  4. arms stay straight but not locked out (ouchie).

Give it a whirl and let me know what you think. If you’re doing it right, you’ll feel parts of your body you’ve never felt before (in the best possible way). But, in the end, your shoulders will thank you for this.

This one’s great for everybody, not just runners. I also really love it for people who are working on getting their first strict pull-ups because it develops awareness of how to use your back for pulling instead of just trying to pull yourself up with your arms (which BTW is a terrible pull-up strategy).

Have an awesome weekend everybody!

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