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Shoulder Mobility Exercises

Scapular Mobility Exercises

If you have shoulder pain and stiffness while using your arms overhead, I encourage you to add scapular mobility exercises to your self care routine, as optimal movement of your shoulder blades along the posterior surface of your ribcage is vital to ensuring proper biomechanics of your shoulder joints when your arms are raised overhead.

If you're new to scapular mobility exercises, I would start with the Cow-Cat drill found here: Read more about Scapular Mobility Exercises

 

Hanging Exercises to Improve Shoulder and Spinal Mobility

Hanging from an object overhead is one of the most effective ways of maintaining and improving shoulder and spinal mobility.

Be sure that you are warmed up before engaging in hanging exercises - ideally, you want to take your shoulders and spine through a solid warm-up and even work up a bit of perspiration to ensure that your tissues are well perfused with blood to prevent injury. Read more about Hanging Exercises to Improve Shoulder and Spinal Mobility

 

A Closer Look at Stick Mobility Exercises

This video demonstrates some movement patterns that you can do with a long stick or dowel. I shot this video indoors with hope that closer positioning to my tripod allows for easier viewing of these movements.

Using a stick to take your shoulders through these and other movements can help you identify and work through restrictions in shoulder, trunk, and hip mobility. Read more about A Closer Look at Stick Mobility Exercises

 

A Collection of Band Exercises to Improve Shoulder Mobility and Stability

This post offers a collection of my favourite band exercises for improving shoulder mobility and stability.

If you've dislocated a shoulder in the past, please be conservative with any exercises you try, and after clearing things with your physician, you might start with those that have your arms no higher than chest level. Over time, as your shoulders feel stronger and more mobile, you can gradually work your arms overhead. Read more about A Collection of Band Exercises to Improve Shoulder Mobility and Stability

 

Hanging and Swinging Exercises for Improved Shoulder and Spinal Mobility

If you can comfortably hang from an object overhead, you can use simple swinging drills to improve shoulder and spinal mobility.

To generate momentum to swing from side to side, you can slightly bend one arm at a time. The focus should be on feeling a solid stretch through the shoulder of the arm that is fully straight and outstretched, and swinging from side to side in a rhythmic pattern. Read more about Hanging and Swinging Exercises for Improved Shoulder and Spinal Mobility

 

German Hang for Shoulder Extension and Arm Strength

The German Hang is excellent for improving shoulder extension and strength through the arms, including grip strength. Read more about German Hang for Shoulder Extension and Arm Strength

 

Scapular Hanging Progressions and Brachiating Basics with Dewey Nielsen

If you are mobile and functionally strong enough to condition your shoulders and scapulae with hanging and swinging exercises, I believe you'll appreciate the progressions in the following videos by Dewey Nielsen. If your body isn't yet ready for hanging and swinging, you can gradually build your mobility and strength via a routine like the one shown here:

Mobility and Functional Strength Routine Read more about Scapular Hanging Progressions and Brachiating Basics with Dewey Nielsen

 

How to Improve Shoulder Extension

There are very few activities of daily living that require us to use our innate capacity for shoulder extension - that is, to actively use our arms while they are behind us. This translates to having short biceps, brachialis, and pectoralis minor muscles, which predispose us to elbow and shoulder issues, including golfer's elbow, tennis elbow, and shoulder impingement syndrome.

For this reason, it's best that we include shoulder extension exercises in our self care programs. Read more about How to Improve Shoulder Extension

 

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