In a perfect world, we’d all have active jobs which didn’t keep us hunched over our computers all day long. However that’s not the world we live in. As a consequence, a lot of us have limited shoulder mobility, which can cause a whole host of problems beyond merely tightness.
You could be hesitant to go to that yoga class your friend has been pleading you to try out as your tight shoulders have made those types of stretches very uncomfortable in the past. Or perhaps your shoulders just get really achy during the day.
No matter what is happening in your shoulders, the response is definitely not to quit your job and become a farmer. Rather, adding some simple exercises to your day-to-day routine can make a huge difference in terms of how you’re feeling and functioning.
So, Where Do You Begin?
Firstly, while both flexibility and mobility play a part in the effective movement of the shoulders, consider that there is a distinct difference between “shoulder flexibility” as well as “shoulder mobility”:
- The term ‘shoulder flexibility’ refers to the ability of the soft tissue muscles to stretch or elongate temporarily. Someone with good hamstring flexibility, for instance, will be capable of pulling – with a resistance band – their knees to their chest while lying flat on their back as well as maintaining a straight leg.
- Shoulder mobility, on the other hand, is the ability for the shoulders to move through a range of motion with control prior to being restricted. This includes having the requisite strength, coordination as well as body awareness along with flexibility. Having excellent mobility, then, will be of far greater benefit to an athlete as opposed to possessing excellent flexibility.
How to Boost Shoulder Mobility
- Foam rolling and myofascial release. Both notions promote the break-up of scar tissue, so improving blood circulation to targeted areas, and releasing knots,
- Dynamic motion stretching,
- Strength building, as well as
- Static stretching. One part of having excellent mobility is to improve flexibility. One instance is long-duration static stretching such as yoga.
Exercises To Improve Shoulder Mobility
Posterior Capsule Pails & Rails
The sleeper stretch has long been utilised in order to improve shoulder mobility however this variant with a strong isometric contraction right at the end range of internal rotation. When the posterior shoulder is tight, we’ll frequently see limitations in overhead positioning as well. So addressing this will frequently create the improvements in shoulder flexion that we want. By merging with isometrics muscle contractions, we also can work on increasing shoulder strength at the same time.
Eccentrics (in other words, the lowering portion of a lift) are performed slowly are possibly the best mobility technique to utilise for any muscle or joint. The blend of a supinated grip and legs being flexed which you’ll see in the below drill really emphasises lat flexibility. With overhead lifts, lat flexibility very usually affects our ability to get into optimum positioning.
Prone Lift Offs
Prone lift offs are a terrific shoulder mobility drill as they also offer a significant stimulus to build upper back strength while at the same time increasing flexibility:
- Begin with a wide grip opening your arms up until they are in line with your ears.
- As you are able, narrow your grip in order to increase the difficulty of this exercise.
- Be sure that you keep your abs and glutes tight in order to focus the movement on your shoulders and not cheating with thoracolumbar spine extension.
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