Mobility Class- June 27th 2015- SHOULDERS

Mobility Class- June 27th 2015

Focus: Shoulders! (external rotators)

The focus of my mobility class on Saturday is on the muscles that are commonly described in shoulder injuries- the external rotators, or the rotator cuff muscles.

There are four small muscles in the back of your shoulder called the Infraspinatus, Supraspinatus, Teres Minor and Subscapularis.


shoulder 2

Bad rounded shoulders!

Their job is to bring your shoulder into external rotation. You can think of external rotation as a β€˜proper posture position’, meaning that your shoulders are held back and down, and your shoulder blade is held down and along the spine. The rotator cuff muscles, when strong and activated, counteract out of that rounded position that you sit in all day at your desk called internal rotation.

external rotation

When the shoulder blades are held back and down the shoulders are in a more externally rotated position, aka better posture.

The rotator cuff muscles also play the largest role in stabilizing the shoulder. Stability of the shoulder is required to keep the arm bone in the shoulder joint and prevent injury to the neck, rotator cuffs, and other structures. When you don’t strengthen your upper back, and chronically move in poor posture those rotator cuff muscles are being over stretched and the glenohumeral joint (where your arm bone connects to your shoulder) is now very stretched and unhappy. With overstretched muscles and chronically poor posture, you simply have to move in one wrong position and you can impinge one of these muscles are tear them!

So it’s time to get stretching and strengthening the rotators, and the upper back muscles!!

In class you will learn how to mobilize the muscles (and others) that attach into our shoulder, so that we can move our shoulder in all ranges of motion, with ease.

I don’t want you to get confused by my mobility class. This is going to release structures in our shoulder and make us move with better range, but it is more important to actually stretngthen that upper back. Stretching the back is in fact not going to help with posture as much as strengthening the upper back will. The purpose of mobility class is to find tissues in your body that are tight to allow you to move better, as part of an overall functional training program. Therefore after mobilizing the shoulder in class your next job would be to start a back strengthening program, to get the full effect of improving shoulder range of motion.


  • Shoulder mobility screening from FMS
  • β€œFlossing” with strap like done in yoga tune up- into internal rotation behind head.

Warm up/dynamic movements

  • Arm swings
  • Shoulder rotations
  • Shoulder dislocations with stick
  • With kettlebell: lay on back, set shoulder blade to mat like you would for a bench press (scapula flat), internally and externally rotate shoulder.
  • Banded distractions: Hook up a rubber band to post, and wrap around wrist, with the palm pfacing down. Use your other arm to put the banded arm in external rotation. Push your hips back and use your body position to root around for tight aras.
  • Bilateral shoulder flexion with dowel: sit on your knees with your elbows on a bench. Hold onto a dowel with your elbows together and your hands spread apart. Rotate the dowel around and then push your hands further apart. Sit back into your hips to deepend it.

Held Stretches:

– Posterior shoulder stretch (keeping in socket).

Foam Rolling

– Neck & upper back

Myofascial Release

1) SUpraspinaturs:Β Β  lay on back, ball into supraspinatus, raise pelvis and dig in (to above scapula) side to side

Pin and stretch by drawling circle with arm on floor by bringing shoulder through full range of motion- 8 a side.

Contract and relax.

  • Infraspinatus: lay on back with ball under the spine of scapula and to the side slightly (but stay on top of shoulder blade region)

Cross fibre side to side

Pin and stretch by waving the right arm in all directions.

  • Subscapularis: lay on back with ball under outside of armpit. Plug your thumb so far into your armpit (past your lats) to pin the subscap between your thumb and the ball.

Pin and stretch by moving the arm around

Small rolls around.

  • Pec major tissues:
  • Set up so you have a ball on your sternu and you are crouching forward pressing the ball into a block. Use your body to slide and glide around to mobilize the tissue. (could do this at the wall if it’s too much)
  • Pec Minor: Pin the ball under your collarbone. Strip the chest from side to side all the way into the shoulder. Then pin and stretch by using movements of the head, arm and neck.
  • Lats: lay on your side with your arm OH and draw around into lats/back of armpit area


Shoulder mobility

Shoulder flossing

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