Do you carry the world on your shoulders?

I’m certain that you are all familiar with this saying. Where did this saying come from? Well, this expression goes back to Ancient Greece. Slaves were forced to carry very heavy weights as punishment for their “bad behaviour”.


These days, it refers more to “carrying” problems on your shoulders rather than actual weight. It can also mean that you’re overusing your mobilising muscles (trapezius). Unfortunately, this can result in an underdevelopment of the stabilising muscles such as the pectoralis and teresis.

Picture this… you’re sitting for long hours at your desk because you just have to finish that assignment or proposal so, you just keep typing away. What’s happening with your shoulders? Well, I bet they just naturally hunch up as nobody tells them to relax. And the problem is if you do let go of the tension in your shoulders, you are likely to pull them down away from your ears. However, this is not the best solution as you are only activating the trapezius, which may result in an imbalance.

Right now, I’m sitting behind my Mac typing this blog post, and what are my shoulders doing? Of course, they were hunched up almost touching the tips of my ears. Grrr … Luckily, I know I can do better than this. 

Being trained in Pilates teaching, I know how to relax my shoulders in a much more effective way:

- Lean your back into the chair (equipped with the right back support)

- Bring your naval to the spine

- Open your chest

- Activate the muscles surrounding the scapulae

- Breath – breathing is good and healthy

- Smile.

This way, I’m using the stabilising muscles first rather than over-activating the mobilising muscles. Now check in … how are your shoulders while you’re reading this blog post? If they are hunching up, you know what to do – follow the steps above to have a little workout and repeat this routine every 45 minutes.

Not so long ago, we wrote about core Pilates principles. One of the principles is Head, neck and shoulders organisation. You might want to read it again as it might contain some helpful information that your can relate to.

Leave us a comment or share the pain with us as it might help some other people to deal with theirs .. or share this post with your friends if they have tendency to carry the world on their shoulders.