As the world is going to end on Friday (that is, according to the Mayans), I thought this would be as great a time as any to post my 2nd article in the “cranky shoulder series.” If you missed it, or blatantly ignored my blog for a while, you can click here for the introductory part 1.
Now that we’ve established good breathing patterns and reduced the “tone” of the muscles in your upper body in the last post, it’s time to really work on getting that mobility back through active exercises.
Below are three different videos you can try to fix your shoulder movement patterns. There’s no need to do all three if you have bad shoulders, and instead, you need to figure out which one works best for you. No two people are built the same way, and as a result, what cures one may not necessarily work for the other.
First up is a simple one, and as you’ll see in the video, my hand is directly under my shoulder and my butt is on my heels. You need to look up at the ceiling and exhale when you get to the top, as you’re trying to get just a little bit further with each rotation. As with the other videos I’ve posted below, this drill is trying to undo all the forward-shoulder postures that everyone with a desk job sits in for 8-10 hours a day.
On this next one, I’m essentially trying to do the same
thing but you’ll note that my set up is different. My leg on the floor is extended straight out,
while the leg on top is on a foam roller.
Start by taking a deep breath, and once again I’m following my hand with
my eyes, making sure I rotate through my upper back. When I get to my sticking point, I exhale and
I’m able to get just a bit more range of motion. Ideally, I’d also use something to support my
noggin', but I didn’t have anything that was sanitary enough to do that job (and
feel free to note the slow moving green line car in the background):
Finally, we have a variation of the one above, but I’m just putting my arm through a different range of motion. Once again, I take a deep belly breath and exhale as I get to that sticking point. Also, you can laugh at my awkward 3-4 pulses with my arm when I wasn’t sure if we were taping…
As I said in my first post in the series, its tough to know where the actual problem lies when someone complains about their shoulder. You need to try a variety of these exercises, and play around with what works best for you.
After you’re done with your mobility work, you’ll need to “lock in” that new range of motion with some stability, as that's our only chance to keep those gains. Think of it as watching a stock you own climb higher and higher, only failing to sell that stock and realize your gains as it plummets back down to pennies. So....how do you lock in those gains? Well check back here in the next week or two for part 3!