This week, Coach Marnus is taking us through 2 easy-to-do Shoulder Stretches exercises that we can be doing every day to improve our shoulder mobility.
If you’d like to read Part 1 of the series on shoulder mobility, where Marnus takes us through a basic shoulder mobility test, click here.
Why Do I Need Shoulder Stretches?
As discussed in Part 1, the shoulder is an extremely complicated joint that is held together entirely by soft tissue? Soft tissue (Muscles, Tendons, and Ligaments) are all flexible pieces of tissue that can be strengthened through training. You can also perform shoulder stretches to relieve pain.
The first step in any shoulder training regimen should involve improving the range of movement at the joint. So not only should you be training the joint through exercises (like lifting weights or bodyweight training), you should also be performing shoulder stretches to take the joint through its full range of movement.
Why are these 2 Shoulder Stretches Important?
First, the two stretches shown by Marnus in the video are important because they are simple-to-do, involve your own body weight and can be performed in mostly static positions (reducing the risk of pain or injury).
Additionally, many functional fitness programs involve exercises where you will hang from a bar. So your ability to do so without pain is important to stay consistent with your training regimen. As a bonus, you will improve your grip strength the longer and more often these are performed.
How do I perform these 2 Shoulder Stretches?
The first stretch is incredibly easy to perform. You are simply “Dead-Hanging” from the rig or pull up bar? It’s important that you relax the entire shoulder girdle throughout this stretch.
So first, you’ll grip the bar with an overhand grip, with your hands shoulder-width or slightly wider apart. Then, allow your shoulders to relax (but keep that grip on the bar!), your scapula to elevate and your shoulders will move towards your ears on both sides.
The rest of your body is in a hollow position, with the core engaged, butt squeezed together and feet pointed and just in front of your torso. This mimics a position you will often go through when performing proper pull-ups, toes to bar and muscle-ups.
Attempt to hold this for 10-20 seconds each time that you perform it.
For Stretch #2, you will need a partner. This is a more advanced version of the first stretch.? In this case, once you start hanging from the bar, your partner will place his/her hands just over your shoulder blades and begin to press forward.
This time, allow your core to relax as you move through a broader range of movement at the shoulder.? Often, your partner can push a little harder than he/she believes, just do so slowly. Once you’ve reached a good stretch (but not painful), your partner will hold the position for 10-20 seconds.
To finish, your partner will slowly reduce the pressure being applied, until you are hanging on your own, directly below the bar.
How often should I perform these 2 shoulder stretches?
Ideally, these can be done 2-3 times per day, both before and after training sessions. Often, when introducing these to clients, we have found that they feel “relief” afterward.
As discussed previously, many of us have incredibly tight shoulders, almost always internally rotated. These 2 stretches will help reduce that tightness that sitting at a desk or looking at a phone often causes.
If you’d like to find out more from our shoulder mobility series, subscribe to our YouTube channel.
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