Bad Posture from the Workplace: Subclavius

Video #3: To round off the first three Instagram videos and blogs for helping with bad posture created by habitual action at the workplace, I will talk about an almost unknown and underappreciated muscle of the body, the subclavius.

The subclavius is a small, ropy and singular muscle that controls the clavicle (collarbone). Most people do not realize that the clavicle moves. Like the scalenes that attach to the ribs for breathing, as well as controlling and positioning the neck, the subclavius in similar activity to separate the clavicle away (or toward) the upper ribs, but also to allow further range of motion of the shoulder.

Like the Pec Major and scalenes while sitting at a desk, the subclavius will tighten because of repetitive motion, or because a lack of movement. But as I show in video #3 and unlike the examples in videos #1 and #2, a great way to stretch and open the subclavius is through an action known as pin-and-stretch. Now as long as you can place pressure with a finger or your hand, and possibly even an object along a muscle, you can pin and stretch any muscle, and I usually do to work out very tight muscles of my clients, such as Pec major. However, due to the sheer small size and location of the subclavius, it is more effective to apply the pin-and-stretch technique to one self.

To get a hold of the subclavius, place your thumb or forefinger just underneath the clavicle next to the sternum. Here the muscle is most exposed as it dives behind the bone as it gets closer to the shoulder. Press with good pressure, enough so you can feel some tenderness. Then internal and externally rotate the shoulder, placing the back of your hand as far up and against your back that is still comfortable. Then rotate out as if waving, with your elbow bent at 90 degrees, focusing the rotation at the shoulder. Do this slowly for a few times, then release that spot and move slightly across, underneath the clavicle. It is also a good idea to PUSH UP against the clavicle, hitting as much of the subclavius as possible.

The focus of these first three blogs and videos were mainly about stretching the thoracic and neck region of the body where so much tension and problems occur from activities at the workplace. When I come back in a couple weeks, I will continue with ways to help with bad posture, but will focus on strengthening, which largely pertain to the back muscles and rotator cuff.

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