Mid-Week Mobility: Shoulders

  Keep away from those who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you believe that you too can become great.

Mark Twain

A couple of my athletes and myself were talking about this the other day. You get to a point when training becomes most of what you do. You wake up and eat, go to work, go to the gym and train, go home and eat and mobilize, and then sleep just to wake up and do it again the next day. Some people will look at you and call this boring, but some will call this ambition. Surround yourself with like minded individuals that want that something as bad as you want it, and you will breed an atmosphere that is contagious, follow the nay-sayers and you will soon become one of them. 

That being said, topic of today is shoulder mobility. Who does this apply to? All of my swimmers that walk around like wounded baby T-rex, any person looking to improve on their snatch or clean and jerk, to the guy on your floor that decided 4 years ago that everyday was chest day and now physically can’t move his arms out of his silver back gorilla stance, or to anyone that is wondering if this applies to you, it does…

Below we have a yoga pose, a mobility stretch, and a strengthening exercise to help you get those shoulders into their proper position!

First off: Downward facing dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana) and Puppy pose (Uttana Shishosana)

Screenshot_2015-09-28-19-45-16 Screenshot_2015-09-28-19-44-18

I included a picture of Kaleigh and not myself because my poses look nothing like this and I wanted to give a good example of shoulder mobility. The overall goal in both of these poses is to bring the chest as close to the floor as you can, resulting in a stretch in the Lats, shoulder musculature, and Pectorals (all of which, if tight, will cause us to have poor shoulder mobility). You can move through these as you like or add This Yoga Flow into your routine to loosen up before an after a heavy overhead day.

For mobility we have to go with: Shoulder Pass Through

shoulder pull through SPT TRANSITION 2SPT FINISH

Taking as narrow of a grip as you can to physically bring it around your body without bending your elbows, wrap your whole hand around the pvc pipe or wooden stick, and proceed to bring it up and over your head, holding behind  the body for 10-15 seconds before bringing it back around. The goal is that as you do this, you will be able to inch your hands a little further in and get a very deep stretch in the shoulder/pec area.

Last but not least: Overhead Press


Now if you are following a Weightlifting program, you know that you get enough overhead movement as it is, in which case I would suggest adding in some Bench Press or dips (to develop the pectoral muscle) to help counter-act all of the pulling motions we do. Furthermore, if you are a swimmer, it is probably not the best idea to do heavy overhead motions due to the amount of reliance you have on your shoulders during swimming, so I would go for nice overhead stability motions and full range of motion push-ups (chest to the floor). The overhead press is for anyone lacking in this very basic, foundational movement, as it is the best way to fully develop the shoulder musculature.

Start with the bar in a front rack position. As you start to push the bar upward, keep it as close to your face as possible, with the bar ending directly above your shoulders (which will happen to be in-line with the heel of your foot).

Make sure to stop by and donate those gently used clothes for the kiddos, we need them by Saturday at Noon! Also, check out the Facebook page for up-to-date info on the Super Total Lift Off on Dec.5th, sign-ups start next week!

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