Shoulder mobility corrective exercises is an ongoing concern whether you are a functional fitness veteran, master or novice. Exercises like Olympic weightlifting as well as gymnastic movements focuses a whole lot on the upper body which might therefore result to some problems for most people, most especially those people who are not really free as they are mostly engaged in jobs that demand their presence as well as time. So therefore, the need to improve shoulder mobility so as to help facilitate these movements should be your top priority. An improved shoulder mobility exercises however equals more efficient and effective movement patterns which in turn equals a better performance output. Not only that, an improved shoulder mobility exercises will also positively affect your muscle health as well as your joints in your everyday life which therefore tends to allow your body move and function in the right manner with a minimal risk of pain and injury.
It is however important that we start by acknowledging that both mobility and flexibility play a very important part in the effective movement of the shoulders. This however does not mean that flexibility is the same as mobility as there is a slight difference between shoulder mobility and shoulder flexibility.
What then is shoulder flexibility?
Shoulder flexibility can be defined as the ability of the soft tissue muscles to stretch or temporarily elongate. An individual with good hamstring flexibility for instance will be capable of pulling with a resistance band their knees to their chest while laying flat on their back and maintaining a straight leg.
Where as shoulder mobility on the other hand can be defined as the ability for the shoulders to move through a range of motion with control before being restricted. This includes coordination as well as having the requisite strength. Not only that, it also includes body awareness along with flexibility. Therefore, we can say that possessing excellent mobility will be of far greater benefit to an athlete or gym enthusiast than possessing excellent flexibility.
How to improve shoulder mobility corrective exercises
Below are some of the ways by which you can improve your shoulder mobility:
1. Foam rolling and myofascial release:
These two concepts promote the break-up of scar tissue as well as improve blood circulation to targeted areas and then release knots.
2. Dynamic motion stretching
3. Shoulder building exercises
As earlier stated, one of the ways of possessing excellent mobility is to improve flexibility. A perfect example is long-duration static stretching such as yoga.
8 shoulder mobility exercises
1. Shoulder pass-through
Shoulder pass-through is one of the best types of shoulder mobility exercises. It is sometimes referred to as ‘shoulder dislocates’ although the name is almost doesn’t match the nature of the exercise. The shoulder pass through exercise is very useful to open up the shoulders and the areas around it in order to support a smooth and stable overhead position. Not only that, the exercise can also highlight and address restrictions in the upper chest region that is the pectoralis major and minor.
1. Bad posture can cause a lot of people to be tight through their chest and front of their shoulder. it is therefore advisable to warm up the shoulders before workout as this will help to improve your form as well as prevent injury.
Equipment needed for shoulder pass-through includes: Broomstick or PVC pipe
Muscles worked includes: Rotator cuff, chest, anterior deltoid as well as the upper back.
Step by step instructions for shoulder pass-through
Below are the instructions to follow so as to perform the shoulder pass-through exercise:
1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart holding a broomstick parallel to the ground. Use an overhand grip holding the bar as wide as you can.
2. Keep your arms straight then slowly raise the broomstick above your head. Hold your core tight so as to maintain good posture and balance.
3. Bring the broomstick behind your head as far as you can. Hold for at least 2 seconds and then return to starting position.
Repeat this 5 times.
2. High-to-low rows
High-to-low rows is yet another shoulder mobility exercises. It is a great shoulder and neck rehabilitation exercise. It can be used at home with resistance band or with a cable column machine at the gym. It is a type of exercise that challenges the thoracic muscles as well as the upper back so as to provide stability to the shoulder joint.
Step by step instructions for high-to-low row exercise
Below are the instructions to follow so as to perform the high-to-low row exercise:
1. Secure a resistance band to a sturdy object above shoulder height.
2. Kneel down on one knee and grab the band with the opposite hand. You can rest the other hand at your side.
3. Pull the band toward your body while keeping your torso and arm straight. Focus on squeezing the shoulder blades together.
4. Return to your starting position and repeat.
Repeat this 10 times in 2 to 3 sets.
3. Reverse fly
Reverse fly is yet another shoulder mobility exercises. It is an effective exercise that aims at strengthening the rear upper back and shoulder muscles. The reverse fly exercise can be performed without weight from the onset then light weight can be used when you are ready to practice the full movement. Gradually add more weight as you become more comfortable with the movement. It is important to note that the reverse fly and the high-to-low row exercise share some similarities as both exercises targets the thoratic muscles as well as the upper back which tends to provide a lot of stability to the shoulder joint. In order to perform the reverse fly exercise, you will be needing a set of light dumbbells.
Step by step instructions for reverse fly exercise
The following are the instructions to follow in order to perform the reverse fly exercise:
1. Hold a dumbbell in each hand.
2. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent.
3. Engage your core and bend forward at the waist. Make sure you keep your back straight and extended your arms.
4. Raise your arms away from your body. Focus on squeezing your shoulder blades together. Stop when you get to shoulder height.
5. Return to your starting position and repeat.
Repeat 10 times in 3 sets.
4. Rotation with dumbbell
Rotation with dumbbell is another shoulder mobility exercises. It is known as a free weight exercise that primarily targets the shoulders. It is a type of exercise that allows you to warm up the shoulders for overhead and throwing motions. Rotation with dumbbell exercise is also regarded as a standard practice for most athletes and gym enthusiasts who extend their arms overhead and externally rotate during their sport.
The only equipment needed for this exercise is a dumbbell.
Step by step instructions for rotation with dumbbell exercise
Below are the instructions to follow on how to perform the rotation with dumbbell exercise:
1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart while holding a light dumbbell in your right hand.
2. Raise arm a bit high so your elbow is at shoulder heigh and the front of your hand is facing the ground.
3. Rotate your shoulder to bring your arm and weight up so that your hand is raised toward the ceiling.
4. Return to the starting position and repeat the exercise again before changing sides.
Repeat this 10 times in 2 to 3 sets.
5. Standing arm swings
Standing arm swing is yet another shoulder mobility exercises. It is a dynamic stretching exercise that engages the upper body muscles. The standing arm swing exercise warms up and stretches the shoulders, upper back as well as the arms and chest. It also prepares the muscles, joints and tendons for a workout. It is a type of exercise that increases your flexibility as well as mobility and gives you a unique cardio boost as well. Not only that, the exercise also helps to increase the flow of blood to the shoulder joint.
Step by step instructions for standing arm swing exercises.
Below are the instructions you need to follow in order to perform the standing arm swing exercise:
1. First, stand tall with your arms by your sides.
2. Engage your core and swing your arms forward until they are as high as you can go. Be sure not to raise your shoulders.
3. Slowly return your arms to the starting position and repeat.
This exercise should be done for 30 to 60 seconds.
6. Cross-arm stretch
The cross-arm stretch is yet another shoulder mobility exercise. It is a type of exercise that is designed to increase flexibility as well as mobility and range of motion of the shoulder joint and the posterior deltoid muscle. The cross-arm stretch also places focus on the rotator cuff muscles. This is to say that the exercise centers on stretching the rear shoulders.
Step by step instructions for cross-arm stretch
The following are the instructions that must be followed in order to perform the cross-arm stretch exercise:
1. Stand with your feet slightly less than your shoulder-width apart and bring your right arm up to a little less than your shoulder height.
2. Carefully place your left hand on your right elbow and gently pull your right arm across your body using your left hand to support your arm.
3. Hold this position for roughly about to 30 seconds.
4. Repeat this procedure on the opposite side.
Each side should be done 3 to 4 times.
7. Sleeper stretch
The sleeper stretch is yet another shoulder mobility exercises. It is a type of exercise that improves the range of motion and internal rotation in the shoulders. It places it’s focus on the infraspinatus and the teres minor muscles, which are found in the rotator cuff. These are the muscles that provides stability in your shoulders. Regular performance of the sleeper stretch exercise tends to help improve the shoulder movement, therefore allowing you to complete daily or athletic activities with more ease. The sleeper stretch excercise can also help you develop the flexibility, mobility and stability you need to prevent the occurrence of injury. It is a unique way to work on internal rotation for the shoulders.
If you have an injury, the emphasis should be laid on the affected side.
Step by step instructions for sleeper stretch
The following are the instructions that should be followed in order to perform the sleeper stretch:
1. Lie on the affected side if you have any injury or pain and if you have none, choose a side to start with. Make sure your shoulder is stacked underneath you.
2. Bring your elbow straight out from your shoulder and bend your arm so that your fingers are pointing toward the roof. This part is the starting position.
3. Gently guide your arm toward the ground using the unaffected arm. Quit when you feel a stretch in the back of your affected shoulder.
4. Hold this position for roughly about to 30 seconds.
Repeat this three times before changing sides.
8. Chest expansion
Chest expansion is another shoulder mobility exercises. It is a unique way to stretch your back muscles, open your chest and also increase the range of motion in your shoulders. Not only that, study has also show that the chest expansion exercise can also help to expand the lungs so as to receive oxygen better.
Step by step instructions for chest expansion
1. First, stand tall with your feet together.
2. Hold the end of a towel or exercise band in both hands with your arms behind your body.
3. Use the towel or band to help you move your shoulder blades together as well as open your chest. This position will make you to look toward the roof.
Hold this pose for nothing less than 30 seconds.
Repeat this exercise at least 3 to 5 times.