Forearm Wheel .
I often get asked why Forearm wheel is so much harder then normal wheel - my answer Shoulders! This variation requires much more openness through the shoulders, something which a lot of us struggle with! If this mobility is not here we compensate in our spine & chest by dumping compressing in our lumbar & winging opening our elbows.
Here are my top tips to working towards lowering onto those forearms. Make sure you prep a lot & are fully comfortable in wheel pose before approaching this tricky variation!
Also click HERE for my video warm up showing all my tips in a little flow I use to mobilise & strengthen my back and shoulders!
1: Dolphin - a great strengthener as it helps open the shoulders while encouraging you to extend away from the floor! Walk the feet in toward your arms & bring your head through to look at your belly for more weight & opening in the shoulders.
2: Props - use props to elevate the feet - this allows you to feel the extension out of the shoulders but not over working the lumbar spine! Use a chair/sofa/table/wall to keep the feet high, and focus on bring the head through the arms and opening the shoulders back in-line with the elbows. Use a block (as shown in the video) to keep hands and elbows at shoulder width distance.
3: Wheel - traditional Wheel is a perfect prep for forearms as it require the strength of shoulders & openness in the front body without needed as much shoulder flexibility. Make sure this pose is accessible before moving down to your forearms - work to keep the elbows reaching toward each other & extending through the arms and shoulders.
4: Wheel Push Up - Watch my video these. Go into traditional wheel and lower down till your head is resting on the floor. Here, squeeze the elbows in toward each other & extend back up. Lower again - squeezing the elbows together but hover the head off the floor. Extend again. Repeat this slowly & controlled to build strength and mobility in your wheel.