There Are Many Places In The Body That Get Wore Down, Locked Up, Are In Pain, and Have Developed Multiple Limitations. The Shoulders, Upper Back, and Arms Are One of The Common Areas. Much Like The Pains and Stresses On Many People’s Lower Back It’s A Constant Struggle and Many of Us Have Deemed This Hindrance As ‘Just A Part of Life’…But This Does Not Have To Be The Case, Nor Should It. There Are Multiple Reasons That Can Cause Shoulders To Get Locked Up, To Lose Mobility, To Accumulate Pain and Stress In Various Ranges of Motion. These Are All Unique To Each Person Most of Which Simply Include Staying In Stagnant Positions of Bad Posture and Simply ‘Not Moving It, and Thus Losing It’. However We Can Work To Improve Our Shoulder Strength, Stability, Mobility, Flexibility, and Lessen The Pains. If You Have Fine Shoulder Mobility These Are Also Great To Use As Prevention (Which Is The Key To Anything) and Maintain Healthy Shoulders. These Are 5 Quick and Simple Tips That Will Help You Start (or Remain) Moving and Feeling GREAT Again!
***NOTE: THESE ARE JUST EXERCISES, THIS IS NOT A PRESCRIPTION FOR YOU SPECIFICALLY TO BE HEALED…IF YOU ARE HAVING SHOULDER PAINS/LIMITATIONS CONSULT A PHYSICIAN FOR DIRECT DIAGNOSIS.
Here Are My Top 5 Quick Tips To Build Healthier Shoulders (Make Sure To Check Out The Video Below For Guidance Through The Movements)...
Move More … Yes, This Is Not Really An Exercise But Needs To Be Stated First. The Principle of ‘Move It or Lose It’ Reigns Supreme. Throughout The Day of Sitting At Desks, Sitting In the Car, Sitting On The Couch, and Simply NOT MOVING For Large Amounts of Our Day Is Killing Our Ability To Move At All. We Need To Be MOVING Every Single Day and Through All Ranges of Motion. Staying Seated Working On A Computer or Doing Whatever Puts Us In This Constantly Hunched Over and Kyphotic Position Which Tightens Us Up Fiercely. So For This One Don't Worry About How To Move, JUST MOVE! Roll Your Shoulders, Sway Your Arms, Stand Up and Walk Around, Bend, Twist…Anything…JUST MOVE!
Scap Wall Slides … Stand With Your Back Against The Wall With Your Hands Down By Your Sides. Start With Your Palms Facing Out and Back of Hands Pressing Against The Wall. Raise Both Arms To Each Side Slowly All The Way Above Your Head. Through The Entire Motion Try To Keep Pressing Your Elbows and Backs of Hands Against The Wall. Return Your Hands Slowly Back To The Sides of Your Body. Repeat Up and Down Slowly 10 Times Each Direction.
Back To Wall Shoulder Flexion … Stand With Your Back Against The Wall With Your Hands Down By Your Sides. Start With The Butts of Your Hands Touching The Wall and Your Thumbs Pointed Out. Keep Your Low Back Pressed Against The Wall (You May Need To Walk Your Feet Out A Little Further Away From The Wall To Do So) and Your Head Against The Wall. Raise Your Arms Out In Front of You and Overhead Until Your Thumbs Are Then Touching The Wall Overhead, From There Exhale Your Arms Slowly Back Down To The Side. Repeat Up and Down Slowly 10 Times Each Direction.
Scap Pushups … Start On All Fours and Keep Your Lower Back Tight and Neutral, With Your Hands Directly Underneath Your Shoulders. Keep Your Arms Locked Out For The Entire Movement and Your Lower Back In A Fixed Neutral Position. From There You Are Going To Work Just Your Upper Back and Scapula. Drive Your Shoulder Blades Apart Pushing Your Upper Back Toward The Ceiling As If Your Shoulder Blades Were Pulling Apart and Your Chest Was Squeezing Together. You Want To Do This Without Your Lower Back (and Essentially Entire Back Rounding) Just Your Upper Back/Scapula. This May Seem Weird and Difficult At First But Give It Practice. From There You Will Reverse The Motion By Driving Your Chest To The Floor (Keeping Your Arms Locked Out and Low Back Neutral). This Will Cause A Deep Stretch In Your Chest and Cause Your Scapula To Come Together and You Will Feel A Pinching Almost In Your Shoulder Blades. Really Focus On Driving Hard (With Safety) In Each Direction. Repeat In Both Directions Slowly 10 Times Each Direction.
Side Lying Windmill… Start By Lying On One Side and Propping Your Top Leg In A Bent Position In Front of You and Propped Up On A Block (or Any Object). Place Both Arms Directly Out In Front of Your Face Palm To Palm and With A Straight Arm, Slowly Rotate The Top Arm Up and Around Your Head In A Circle Until You Are Stretching It Out Behind Yourself. Then Return The Arm to The Palm to Palm Position. Feel The Stretch Through Your Entire Rotator Cuff As Well As Your Upper Back, Chest, and Core As You Rotate. Repeat With Both Arms Slowly 10 Times Each Direction.
BONUS # 1: Train Smart & Like A Responsible Adult … This Tip Can Really Be Applied To Anything…Stop Acting Like You Are An Olympic Athlete In Your Training. The WOD’s You Are Doing Every Day May Make You Feel Like A Rockstar But At What Cost?… The Sweat Angel Might Look Cool But It Will Become Increasingly Less Cool If You're Looking At Those Pictures of Your Old Workouts From A Hospital Bed After Rotator Cuff Surgery. Look, We All Want To Go Hard and Feel That Exhaustion Workout…But It Doesn't Have To Be Achieved With Recklessness. If You Aren't Ready For A Movement…AVOID THEM! We Have The Rest of Our Lives To Get In Great Shape…But How Many More Injuries Can You Take?? That’s Not A Question You Want To Test. Train Responsibly, With Fluid Movements, and Sound Progressions At Your Pace!
BONUS # 2: Stop Doing Things That Hurt … Yes, This Goes Along With Bonus Point 1 But It Bears To Be Said…When An Exercise/Movement/Anything Hurts…STOP DOING IT! Work On Healing and Restoring To Proper Movement…But Don't Be Tough Guy and Grind It Out. This Should Be Common Sense But When We Get Caught Up In The Moment Common Sense Goes Out The Window. This Is A Mental Thing, We Feel Like We NEED To Do More…Well We Don’t, We Need To Be Healthy Today, Tomorrow, Next Week, Next Month, and A Decade From Now!
Remember That A Key Is Not Be In ‘Workout Mode’ and Focus On Where YOU ARE AT, and Working On RESTORATION AND PREVENTION. These Are Some Simple But Very Effective Tips To Help You Improve Your Shoulder Health. Let’s Wake Up Every Day With Excitement and Energy and Not A Limited Feeling Due To Shoulder Pains!
For Additional Resources Check Out Eric Cressey’s Work…When It Comes To Shoulders Specifically (But Really All Around Fitness Work) He Is The Man To Go To.
Smile, Laugh, Tell Someone You Love Them, and Keep Living The Gooder Life!
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