Transcript below of: Are my arms too short to jump through?
Hi everybody! Welcome to this month’s question of the month. As you know I answer a question every month. Just go to yoganatomy.com/myquestion and you can submit your own question. This month I answer a question about body proportions and the jump through. Are your arms too short to jump through? So, this month’s question of the month comes from Alejandro.
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“Hi David, I have two questions: [David: “You’re only supposed to submit one, just so you know!] Have you encountered body types where it is not feasible to jump through the arms from down dog into seated and back (e.g. long legs, short arms)? Or can it generally be attained with enough practice? Do you know any preliminary exercises that help us towards achieving this transition (other than practicing the transition itself)? Thanks, Alejandro.”
So, question number one: “Are there body types where it’s not feasible?” or Are your arms too short to jump through? It’s hard to say, because you’d have to follow them and make sure they work really hard every single time or every single day to really test if it’s not feasible at all. But I would say that there are definitely some proportions that don’t lend themselves to easily jumping through and jumping back. Perhaps read The Anatomy of The Lift Up and Jump Back.
I have to say, for every configuration I’ve seen, you know, for example, short arms, long torso, short femurs, for instance, which is probably the one that would have the most difficulty, (short arms, long torso makes it really difficult; you’d have to really have to curl the torso up so that the butt is sitting higher relative to where the shoulders are) I’ve seen people who fit that configuration be able to jump through and jump back. Maybe slightly worse than that: long torso, long femurs, and short arms. I have to imagine that would be one of the most difficult to do.
The serratus anterior part of jumping back
So, generally, I like to believe that it can be obtained. There are a whole bunch of other things that go into the lift-up and the jump back that you need to make sure you’re doing. I have a feeling you’re a regular visitor to my website. You know, check out the articles on serratus anterior. I’m assuming you’re struggling with this because you’re asking about it, so you know, make sure you’re engaging your serratus through sun salutations and through all of the lifts that you’re doing because the serratus, being part of that lifting up, easily adds between 1 and 3 inches to height.
Alright, so look into that, which is tied to your second question “any preliminary exercises.” You always want to look back, as I suggested, at all of the areas in your practice where you can engage these very same muscles. If you think it’s a strength thing and lifting up, then you know, focus on the serratus anterior. If it’s a proportion thing, you’re not going to change it.
Test it out in the pool
But one really good way to test, to see if your body proportions will allow for it (or if you really have arms too short to jump through) is to reduce the amount of weight that you have to lift. And this is actually the way in which I learned to do the jump back the first time. I was in a pool (and Jose we’re not talking about your pool). So, I was in a pool and what I did was, I used the step to lift myself up and swing my legs through and I could do it in the pool, which meant proportions are definitely not an issue. I could tuck enough. So, what was the real issue?
At that point, the real issue was strength. So, if you think that the proportions are an issue for you, go ahead into a pool or something, and if you can do it there without touching your feet and you’re lifting your butt up high enough and all that stuff, then proportions are not the problem.
I hope that answered the question for you! Anybody else, if you’ve got a question, go ahead and submit it: yoganatomy.com/myquestion