Increase shoulder mobility with a few easy steps
In our second installment of the March Mobility series, we’re going to discuss a few easy things you can do to decrease shoulder pain, increase shoulder mobility and improve posture.
Last week, we mentioned that ‘When we are young, our bodies are graced with full mobility. Over the years, this mobility fades as we sit behind the computer, TV, in traffic and on our phones.’
Sedentary lives and excessive sitting has been called the ‘new smoking.’ Over time, slouching in front of the TV and computer can lead to kyphosis, internally-rotated shoulders, tension headaches and breathing problems, to name a few.
And if you’re reading this on your phone, it’s a safe bet that your neck is craned even further forward. SO… you’re a La Jolla Sports Club member, you’re into fitness- what do you do about it?
Cheat-sheet (which can be applied to all body parts):
1. warm up with dynamic stretching
2. foam roll
4. static stretch
Keep in mind your personal limits and range of motion, as you do not want feverish, ballistic, out-of-control movements. To get your shoulders primed for exercise, windmills (wide and narrow) and arm swings (by your sides and across the body) are both simple and effective. Aim for three sets at 10 repetitions each.
You’ll recall from our last blog that foam rollers are your friends, as they help open up tight and restricted muscles. After you have done your dynamic stretches, grab a foam roller and spend a few minutes on your back. Slowly work your way up from your hips to your shoulders and then roll on each side to release your latissimus muscles.
Tight pectoral muscles are an unfortunate byproduct of forward-head posture and internally-rotated shoulders. To loosen them up, grab a lacrosse ball or baseball and work into your pec muscles. These will be tender, so listen to your body’s limits.
At this point, you should be ready to work out, but keep in mind that the shoulder complex is incredibly… complex, and form is of the utmost importance (please, PLEASE do not lat pull behind your head). There are many great exercises to help strengthen your upper-back, correct posture and undo the negative effects of excessive sitting, so get creative and have fun! If you have any questions or concerns on form or exercises, ask one of your La Jolla Sports Club Personal Trainers.
Look for our next two installments of March Mobility, where we talk to Maurizio Tangari about Primal Movement and Matt Pippen about Fascial Stretch Therapy. Until then, good luck out there!
// Your La Jolla Sports Club team