Improve Shoulder Mobility
In our last blog, “Improve Your Ankle and Hip Mobility,” we mentioned that shoulder mobility is another key factor to strength and performance. That's what we’ll focus on now.
Why is shoulder mobility important? What hinders it? How do we test and improve it?
Let’s refresh that according to Allterrainhuman.com, “Mobility sits at the base of everything. Without mobility, you can’t have stability. Without mobility and stability, you can’t move well. If you can’t move well, strength and endurance are difficult to train.”
“The shoulder is a unique joint, it provides a stable base for us to use are arms whilst allowing them to move enough to get them into useable functional positions (such as overhead). Shoulder stiffness can impact the performance of athletes or simply lead to pain and injury for every day folk,” said Colchester Physiotherapy. Shoulder mobility plays a large role in our posture as well as assists us with all of our pulling and pushing movements: Shoulder press, push-ups, pull-ups, etc. These are core movements in most exercise programs.
How do we test shoulder mobility?
- Lie on your back with your knees bent at 90 degrees and your feet on the floor
- Raise both arms perpendicular to the floor
- Slowly lower the arm you are testing straight over head as far as you can. Keep the moving arm straight and the lower back on the floor (don’t arch).
- Getting that hand to the floor is ideal shoulder/upper back mobility. Test both sides.
Why could your shoulder mobility be hindered?
Similarly, to the knees and ankle, shoulder mobility may be limited by many factors including age, gender, and activity level. A further limiting factor includes muscle body asymmetry which the majority of the population has to some extent. Most of us have a dominant side to our bodies that tends to be used more. According to certified fitness coach Nick Ng, “People who play asymmetrical sports, like tennis and baseball, are likely to have less range of motion in the dominant shoulder or hip than the non-dominant side, although the dominant side may have more coordination, strength and stability than the other side. This also applies to other daily activities, such as sweeping, vacuuming, writing and carrying a purse.”
How can we fix shoulder mobility?
Follow the instructions in the video below for 3 simple exercises you can perform daily to help improve your shoulder mobility.