Developing good mobility and moving well is key to fun, effective and injury free training. We know time is precious and we definitely know that mobility isn’t the really fun bit BUT it is so important and we guarantee you will reap the benefits.
Today we’re focusing on Shoulder mobility!
Or perhaps lat and pec mobility….?!
The first thing to understand about ‘tight shoulders’ is that the shoulder joint is very complex and there are lots of reasons you may feel tightness in your shoulders. Whilst your coaches are not qualified to diagnose specific issues we can provide lots of help and support with how to improve your mobility!
Often tight shoulders are caused by tight lats (the big wing like muscle that runs from your neck down to the bottom of your rib cage) or tight pecs (chest muscles)….or both!
If you struggle with tight shoulders try these few exercises 4-5 times a week in a 20-30 minute session.
Banded lat stretch (top left pic): Attach a band to the rig, loop it over the back of your hand and walk back until you have a reasonable amount of tension on the band. Hinge at the hip, keep your back flat and the arm with the band around it relaxed and lose. Allow the tension on the band to stretch the lat and shoulder socket. Hold the stretch for at least 1 minute each side x 2
Wall Ball chest opener (top right pic): Lying on your back with a wall ball between your shoulder blades and a fractional (small) weight in each hand, palms facing up. Start with your hands by your sides and gently draw semi circles with your arms by drawing your hands all the way up so your arms touch your ears (like a snow angel). Keep the arms as straight as possible and allow the weight to keep your hands close to the floor. Draw 10-15 semi circles SLOWLY x 2
Foam roll your lats (bottom left pic): pretty much what it says on the tin BUT highly effective and I am yet to meet someone who can foam roll their lats discomfort free…and you should be able to! Lying on your side with the foam roller in your arm pit and hand above your head, roll up and down on the foam roller and spend most time where it is most uncomfortable – this is where you are tightest and need to loosen off the most! At least 90 seconds on each side x 2!
The clock stretch (bottom centre pic): Start by facing the wall. Hold 1 arm out to the side so it runs parallel to the floor (3 or 9 o’clock depending on side) – push your shoulder in to the wall and the palm of your hand, keeping your arm straight. Keeping the shoulder in contact with the wall roll the rest of your body away creating a stretch through the front of your shoulder. Now, keeping the shoulder and palm in contact with the wall take your hand up towards 12 o’clock and then down to 6 o’clock, drawing semi circles on the wall. Draw 10-15 semi circles on each side SLOWLY x 2
Reverse banded lat stretch (bottom right pic): Attach a band to the rig, loop it over the back of your hand and walk back until you have a reasonable amount of tension on the band, now turn around and allow the band to pull your arm behind your head. Lean away from the band to create more tension and focus on keeping the the arm with the band around it relaxed and lose. Allow the tension on the band to stretch the lat and shoulder socket. Hold the stretch for at least 1 minute each side x 2
If you want any assistance with these stretches in the gym please ensure you ask one of us! And if you want any further shoulder mobility work come along to the Mobility class on a Saturday, feel free to ask one of us or watch this space….. (on Mondays)!
Have a mobile Monday!