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A Simple Way To Improve Chronically Tight Shoulders

Years ago, I watched a former tennis pro do a similar version of the shoulder press shown here, only with a long barbell that began behind his head on his neck. While on the pro tour, Gary Muller was known for his monstrous serve with a whip-like action to his service motion that generated crazy power and ball action. In watching him teach students how to generate easy service power, I noticed how flexible his serving shoulder was, particularly in external rotation and flexion, the two main ranges that are deepened with the shoulder presses I saw him doing.

For those of us looking to experience optimal shoulder mobility for everyday activities, including recreational sports, I don't think we need to do Gary's full barbell, behind-the-neck version of overhead presses, as this dumbbell movement that involves a twist of the wrists on the way up is more than sufficient to improve tight shoulders and help prevent common issues like impingement and frozen shoulder from developing.

The key to getting the most out of this simple movement is to aim to keep our arms in line with our ears from a side view, and to go through the full range in a slow and controlled manner.

As with all exercises, it's vital to do a good warm-up beforehand, to work within one's limitations, and to consult with a local physiotherapist or other mobility specialist to take into account other unique circumstances, including any prior injuries or surgeries.


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Thank you for words on this subject. It has given me some peace of mind. AS I have now reached my 80's ( and have nursed all my life) I find my thoughts have changed hugely, on the subject of ageing and its problems. No longer do I feel the medical profession is always right, and we must do what 'they' say, I follow the thought of ' do not interfere with nature'. Only hope I am strong enough to stick to that thought when the time comes. Phyll.

Agree with you totally up until today where I find myself caught up in the
medical merry go round …having to make tough decisions about a
possible cancer ..I’ve reached 91 and now my future is staring me in
the face..