As a culture, we spend a lot of our time sitting & looking at our devices. That puts a lot of strain on our bodies, especially our neck & shoulders. Many of us end up with the forward head / rounded shoulders posture, especially when we’re fatigued.
The pivot prone is one of my favorite exercises to set the shoulder blades back in their optimal position.
It is a key developmental movement babies perform in order to strengthen their shoulders & core in preparation for crawling. The pivot prone sets your shoulder blades down & back.
Performing this exercise prone (lying on your belly) is optimal for facilitating (“turning on”) our scapular stabilizers.
The scapular stabilizers are your target muscle group with this exercise. Stabilizer muscles are best strengthened with stabilizing contractions (the intention being to hold your position in space) as compared to our prime movers which are our bigger muscles responsible for creating movement.
Getting into the proper position is key. With the pivot prone, your arms should be by your side, elbows maximally bent, wrists extended & hands turned out to the sides. You should keep your head up off the ground & try to breath normally. I vary my head position during the exercise (look down, forward & side to side). If you’re uncomfortable lying flat on your belly, you could put a pillow or two under your torso to take stress off your back.
Aim to hold this position for 2 minutes. Your arms may start to shake as you fatigue. That’s a good thing! Try to work through it. As you do this exercise more, you should experience less shaking because your muscles have become more efficient.
During the day, you would benefit from performing the pivot prone when standing or sitting as a quick postural cue.
Facilitating your scapular stabilizers improves your posture & function. Add this exercise to your daily routine today!