“[Thread the needle] it’s a great stretch for your upper back and shoulders,” says Chloe de Winter, founder of Go Chlo Pilates, on this week’s episode of The right direction. Threading the needle involves getting down on your knees and, you guessed it, reaching one 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 some common mistakes to avoid here.
According to her, the biggest problem she sees is the lack of control when performing the movement pattern. For example, he may kneel down and then open his arm, leaving himself open to hurting his neck or hurting his 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 ground.
“Another mistake I see a lot is the head and neck not following the motion,” says de Winter. Again, in this case, you are making your neck vulnerable by not keeping it in line with the rest of your spine. Instead, make sure your gaze follows your fingertips as you reach for the sky, then tuck 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. Happy shoulder stretch.