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Exercises for Mobility and Functional Strength

Exercises for Shoulder Pain and Upper Back Stiffness

This is a routine of mobility exercises that can help address chronic shoulder and upper back pain and stiffness. You can find more details on doing each of the exercises described below by searching for them in our Mobility Exercises Archive.

Start with Cow-Cat, alternating between full flexion and extension of the spine while on all fours. Read more about Exercises for Shoulder Pain and Upper Back Stiffness

 

Mobility Exercises You Can Do In Bed

This is a mobility exercise routine that most can comfortably do while in bed.

Begin with ankle circles while supine, clockwise and counter-clockwise. Follow this up by alternating between plantar flexion and dorsiflexion. Read more about Mobility Exercises You Can Do In Bed

 

Gentle Rolling and Deck Squats to Improve Spinal Mobility, Core Strength, and Balance

If your circumstances are such that tumbling on foam flooring isn't possible, I would suggest making use of a mattress or even a stack of gym mats that gives you about 6 to 8 inches of stable cushioning. Read more about Gentle Rolling and Deck Squats to Improve Spinal Mobility, Core Strength, and Balance

 

Indian Club Exercises for Improved Shoulder and Spinal Mobility

Indian clubs are incredibly useful for improving shoulder and spinal mobility. They come in a variety of materials and weights. When first starting with them, whether you have limitations or not, it's generally wise to begin with the lightest clubs you can find. I suggest starting with 1-pound clubs and gradually working up to 2 or 3 pound clubs only if you feel that your shoulders can use more weight. The maximum weight that I find I need for an excellent shoulder workout is 5 pounds. In this video, I am using 3-pound wooden clubs. Read more about Indian Club Exercises for Improved Shoulder and Spinal Mobility

 

Mobility Exercise to Release a Chronically Tight Shoulder

One of the oft-overlooked elements of releasing a chronically tight shoulder is shortened muscles and tendons in the posterior shoulder region.

The specific tendons and muscles that tend to be short in those with chronic shoulder tightness and impingement are:

Infraspinatus
Teres minor
Posterior deltoid Read more about Mobility Exercise to Release a Chronically Tight Shoulder

 

Mobility Exercises for Shoulder Impingement

Start with arm circles. Ideally, you want to keep your shoulder blades (scapulae) squeezed together as you take your shoulders through small, controlled circles, forward and backward.

Proceed to Cow-Cat to mobilize your spine and scapulae. Alternate between flexion and extension of your spine, focusing on controlled movement throughout. Read more about Mobility Exercises for Shoulder Impingement

 

A Simple Technique to Open Up Stiff Hips

A number of people who have gone through other videos that I've done on hip mobility have mentioned feeling restricted deep within their hip joints while trying to rotate their hips.

This video demonstrates a technique that can help restore joint mobility while lengthening shortened muscles and tendons that inhibit natural range of motion. Read more about A Simple Technique to Open Up Stiff Hips

 

Mobility Routine to Treat Wrist Pain and Stiffness

When circumstances don't allow you to get down on the ground to work on wrist mobility, you can do many simple mobility exercises to improve your wrist health and strength while leaning against a wall. Read more about Mobility Routine to Treat Wrist Pain and Stiffness

 

Posterior and Anterior Pelvic Tilt for Improved Core Strength

Learning to hold the pelvis and lower back in posterior and anterior pelvic tilt positions is highly beneficial to improving core strength.

You can hold posterior and anterior pelvic tilt positions while lying prone, while on all fours, and while in plank position. Read more about Posterior and Anterior Pelvic Tilt for Improved Core Strength

 

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