Young or old, high performance athlete or weekend warrior, keeping your body strong and healthy is important for making sure you can live your best life pain free.
Here are three shoulder mobility exercises that will help relieve tension in your back and shoulders and support good posture, essential for injury prevention.
A key part of shoulder health is regaining shoulder mobility that has been lost over the years, often from sitting for long periods of time day in and day out.
A simple, yet effective way to increase mobility is with self-myofascial release. To help release tension in your shoulders and upper back, place a foam roller behind your back with your hips lifted and slowly begin to move up and down the roller. When you feel any tight spots, pause and gently focus on the area of tension by applying additional pressure.
CARs - Shoulder Joint
Functional Range Conditioning (FRC) is another effective way to maintain and help regain joint range of motion. Controlled Articular Rotations (CARs) is a type of FRC that can be performed on any joint and is a great pre-exercise warm-up that will help encourage better mobility.
Start with the right arm, turn the palm so that if faces forwards and slowly begin to lift your arm upwards and across your body, rotating the arm slightly to face upwards at the top. Once your arm is above your shoulder, rotate your arm so that your palm is facing outwards before lowering it behind you. Follow the same movement pattern in reverse order back to the starting position. Repeat exercise on the left side. For best results, perform twice a day in the morning and evening.
After working to reduce tension and create space in the shoulder, it is time to strengthen the muscles in order to maintain mobility.
The scapula (shoulder blade) support movement in the shoulder and is an important muscle for maintaining healthy posture. A great exercise to help prevent shoulder injuries and improve performance is the Scapula Pull-Up as it targets the shoulder blades and reinforces healthy movement patterns.
Begin in a normal pull-up position - palms facing away and arms shoulder width apart. Draw the scapula down and together (like a reverse shrug) causing your chest and body to raise slightly. Make sure to keep you keep your arms straight. Hold the top position for one second, then return to the starting position. This is a challenging exercise for many people so start off slow and don’t overdo it. Start with 5 reps and work up to 10.
During these exercises, if you feel any sharp pain, stop the stretch immediately.