Hello, This is Shay-lon Moss. I am back for another post, today we are going to talk mobility in the shoulders! Something most of us have heard of, is the term: Mobility. Pay attention to today’s post because mobility is very important, and not just for athletes, but for everyone. Let’s talk about what the term “mobility” actually means — we can assume it has something to do with being “mobile” which in other words means movement. When talking about the shoulder in particular, I am talking about the ability and/or potential of being able to move the shoulder freely and efficiently.
Lately we have been hearing many professionals speak on mobility & while it might seem like a new fad, it has been around forever — many physical therapist have patients do mobility exercises for rehab. Personal trainers like myself, need to pay attention to our clients mobility in order to help them move more efficiently & prevent injury to the joint. Now let’s dig in!
We went over what mobility is, and now we know we are going to talk specifically on the shoulder joint.
The shoulder itself is capable of moving through different movement patterns: Adduction, Abduction, Flexion, Extension, Internal Rotation, and External Rotation. We will go over these movement patterns for the shoulder in depth on a different post; for now, know that the shoulder has many opportunities for movement.
Shoulder Mobility Issues that can arise ..
- Impingement. Which can be from a poorly positioned humerus bone in the shoulder socket impinges on the tendons and bursa in the shoulder
- Torn rotator cuff – we will discuss this more in depth in a separate post
- “Frozen” shoulder; which quite honestly was something I recently learned about (primary in individuals who are recovering from an injury or surgery, causing stiffness & pain from non-use of the shoulder.
All three of the above issues that can arise from poor mobility in the shoulder are not good & because of that, you want to prevent these things from happening OR if you have one of issues listed above, find methods to strengthen your shoulder(s) and and increase the ROM (gradually).
Now let’s talk about Common Causes of Poor Shoulder Mobility
- “Force Coupling” a new term that again was brought to my attention recently from the ISSAonline.com (if you have heard of this, please let me know in the comments). Basically what this is, is when two equal and opposite forces act upon one another to produce rotational movement. Something that I am sure is more common than we know, but something new for those of us who have never heard of it before.
- Inactivity — this is a no brainer, the more sedentary the lifestyle, the more negatives that follow when it comes to overall health and well-being & because we aren’t using the muscles it can create poor mobility in our joints.
- Poor posture. Growing up, many of us were always told to keep our back straights while seated & to look forward while walking, to name a few. Well guess what? If you listened to your parents ques growing up, GOOD! because it saved you from a potential shoulder issue and because alignment is important.
- Lack of stability . We will talk about shoulder stability more in depth at a later time BUT basically if the shoulder is unstable or weakened, then it will be harder once we add load to it for it to work through full ROM and in turn could cause future injuries. You definitely want both your shoulders to be stable.
A lot of us professionals have had clients/patients who have shoulder immobility and lack of stability. and so with that being said, we need to research ways to counteract it and to strengthen the shoulder so that our clients/.patients have a healthier joint & can move their joint pain-free. I did some of the research for you, I will name a few corrective exercises one can use. None of these exercises are a ONE AND DONE magical pill you take and everything goes perfect — you have to put time into the movement, take your time, pay attention to your body, be sure to do proper form, and add it to your workouts. Both athletes and those of you who aren’t in sports can benefit from great shoulder mobility and these corrective exercises
I am going to list some of the ones I have used for my clients, feel free to add more in the comments below!
- Wall slides
- Prone IYT’s or Prone T’s & Prone Y’s
- Pec stretch with the TRX or by pushing the wall with both hands
- Theraband Rows
- Theraband Internal & external rotation (rotator cuff) you can also opt in to use the cable if you can manage heavier loads BUT do not overload the joint for this exercise — these are smaller muscles so you don’t need a huge amount of weight to get the job done.
For those of you in the profession of physical therapy or personal trainers, please share your recommends in the comments! For those of you who need exercises to add to your shoulders for mobility, steal the ones I listed or feel free to watch some YouTube videos!
If you don’t know where to start or need help getting started, contact me for personal training packages & nutrition packages! Feel free to follow me on social media, and my blog!