Today we’re going to go through a series of shoulder exercises to both decrease shoulder pain and enhance performance through better motor control.
This is a basic video where it’s really based on the idea of “know the rules so that you can appropriately break the rules.”
This is one of those weird explorations that I like to have athletes do because whenever we look at what we do in a standard training environment, in most cases, we’re positioning our joints into a very safe arena because we’re loading them heavily.
So what we’re about to do is not for strength training. I just want to make that very clear in the beginning. This is an exploration of different shoulder positions that we do all the time in the real world, but because we don’t practice them intentionally with light loading, very often, these are the positions in which we are injured.
I cannot tell you how many shoulder cases I’ve seen over the course of my almost three-decade career now of people coming in saying:
“I have shoulder issues.”
“Well, my kid was in the backseat, I reached over, tried to reach down and grab the bag, the pull it out.”
So, in other words, we see people constantly complaining about shoulder issues by getting the shoulder into an unusual position.
So what we’re going to do today is a fast exploration of how can we explore some of these movements safely?
So our focus today is going to be on the shoulder blade and then a simple curl motion. All right. So I’m going to use a light band and I’m just going to get ready to do a kind of bicep curl to begin. I’m going to be in neutral. Neutral stance, neutral shoulder position. My scapula. My shoulder blade will neither be up or down.
It will not be back or forward. Just here. And I’m just going to do two or three curls, and I’m paying attention to how my shoulder and arm feel.
Now we’re going to sequentially work through some different opportunities.
So I’m going to now elevate my shoulder blade and repeat that same curl.
I’m going to elevate and protract.
In other words. I’m going to push my shoulder forward.
So I’m lifted, moved it forward and I’m contracting.
Now I’m going to do the reverse. I’m going to lift up and pull my shoulder blade back.
Now, I’m going to repeat that with the shoulder blade pulled down in neutral.
Down and forward, and then down and back.
So in most cases, what you’ll find is that by changing that shoulder blade position, you’re going to feel slightly different tensions in your trap, in the shoulder, in the pec, in the muscles of the back, and also in the arm.
So what I usually like to have people do is three to five reps of this light, curl motion in each of those positions and then we would switch that. And instead of doing a curl, we’re now going to do some type of retraction exercise.
So again would be here. I would face my band. I’ll do it this way on the left side. So I would go through a row and then I would elevate and row. Depress and row. Elevate protract and row.
And as you start to go through these, you will have these memories of,
“Oh, yeah, I’m talking on my phone, carrying my briefcase, all at the same time.
And when I got done with that, my neck felt weird, my shoulder felt weird.
That is usually because we do not have a good map of that movement. We don’t have a good map of the contractile synergies that have to occur. So this is a way to safely explore that using very light loading and deliberate positioning. Let me know if this makes sense to you, and if you enjoy it. If so, I’ll build some more videos for you for looking at different positions and different joints.