MOBILITY GATEKEEPER: SHOULDERS
The shoulders provide the most potential mobility in all three planes of movement. As a result, successful movement is only possible with sufficient mobility in this joint. An individual’s arm movement is only as good as the shoulders.
This post highlights some common problems for the shoulder joint and presents a few exercises to work on a solution.
The order of the exercises will follow a sequence of:
SOFTEN >> LENGTHEN >> STRENGTHEN
- Soften = Self-massage, with the intent of either regenerating the tissue we want to be more active or softening restricted tissue that is preventing movement of the target area
- Lengthen = Stretching, joint distraction
- Strengthen = Activating muscle or “strengthening”
COMMON SHOULDER PROBLEM: ROUNDED SHOULDERS WHEN ROWING BECAUSE BACK MUSCLES DON’T WORK
Rounded shoulders during rowing is more common in men than women simply because men are more likely to spend an inordinate amount of time training the chest muscles. However, because both men and women spend a lot of time sitting, it’s become a concern for everyone. When performing an exercise such as a seated cable row or single-arm dumbbell row, for example, you often see the arms doing all the work.
Shortened chest and/or shoulder muscles potentially combine with shortened, overactive upper-trapezius muscles to inhibit action of the lower and middle trapezius and rhomboids. This inhibits proper scapula motion when rowing and limits the action of the back muscles.
THE FIX FOR INACTIVE UPPER BACK MUSCLES
Complete 10 reps with a brief hold in open shoulder position.
Perform 20 dips.
The soften, lengthen, strengthen sequence provides an opportunity to rapidly improve the health and hydration of a tissue and optimize nervous system control, and gets the right muscles firing at the right time. Wherever you see a mobility problem, consider how you can use various exercises in this sequence to improve a client’s function.
By: Jonathan Ross Health and Fitness Expert