So from the last blog we’ve learnt there are 4 positions of high torque when we wind up the shoulder capsule and surrounding muscles. By utilising these positions they will produce better pathways to move from and minimise the risk of injury.
We’ll start off with the over head positions. In every day life we don’t take our hands above our shoulders often enough. It’s understandable the shoulder will feel tight in these positions. But with a little regular mobilising we should be able to feel more comfortable holding our arms up there.
In the shoulder we have big internal rotators and some small external rotators which can cause a bit of an imbalance. Both internal and external rotation needs to be stretched to achieve full over head movement.
The other thing restricting our overhead movements is thoracic mobility. Another area that often gets stiff with a sedentary life. Additional extension at the Thoracic region without hyper extending at the lower back will give us better shoulder flexion.
Below are some basic mobility drills to improve Thoracic extension.
Foam Roller – Slowly moving over the foam roller, trying to extend over the top, keeping steady breathing throughout. Try to keep the neck in a stable position avoiding hyper-extending, also avoid rolling into the Lumbar spine. Try this for up to 2 minutes. Once you find some stiffness, stay on that point and lift your arms straight above your head. 1 minute.
T spine extension – Kneeling, put both elbows up on the step/box. Drop the chest down to the ground. Feeling a stretch at the Thoracic spine and lats. Hold the stretch for 2 minutes. Try to stay strong at the lumbar spine avoiding extending.
Below are just some stretches you can do to access both the internal and external rotation restrictions at the shoulder.
Pec major stretch – Using a resistance band, taking up the slack with the hand behind, turn your body away, producing a large stretch in the chest. Hold for 2 minutes.
Under arm stretch – Attach a light resistance band to the opposite frame. Hold the other end with your hand behind the neck, pull into the opposite rack and drive the armpit into the poll. You’ll get a good triceps and lats stretch. 2 minutes.
Infraspinatus LaX ball smash – Direct the ball into the shoulder blade. With the pressure, take the hand across the body and over head. 1 minute each direction.