Shoulder Mobility and Strength

Shoulder Mobility and Strength

In this blog will talk about shoulder mobility and strength and ways to improve your mobility and strength as well as tips on injury prevention.

What is a normal or healthy shoulder joint?

A normal or healthy shoulder joint is one with full range of movement with no pain or stiffness and with good control around the scapula/shoulder blade. Your shoulder is a ball and socket joint so can move in many directions – flexion, extension, adduction, abduction and rotation both internal and external. The shoulder joint is highly mobile and depends on the musculature around the joint for stability. The scapula or shoulder blade moves in coordination with the joint so for every 2 degrees of movement at the shoulder there will be 1 degree of movement at the scapula. So for example when lifting the arm up to the ceiling the shoulder blade will slide up or elevate up the chest wall and rotate upwards in coordination with the shoulder joint movement. This coordination of movement allows for full range of motion at the shoulder joint.

Mobility Exercise

Try this to see how mobile your shoulder is:

Shoulder Circles:

·         Stand up Tall.

·         Look straight ahead & keep chest facing forwards.

·         Lead with the thumb and lift the arm up to the ceiling.

·         When the arm is facing up to the ceiling, rotate through the arm turning the palm away from the body and turning the inside part of the elbow away from the body          as well.

·         Bring the arm slowly back and around to the side of the body without the chest twisting.‍

How does the movement feel? Compare sides? How slow can you do the movement? Is there more range on one side? Is there any pain or stiffness? Does the shoulder elevate at the top i.e. does the shoulder lift up to the ear?‍

This simple drill or exercise helps to see how healthy and mobile your shoulder joint is.

Stability Exercise:

Try this exercise to see how stable the shoulder joints are:

Superman Arms:

·         On all 4’s with hands directly under the shoulders and knees under the hips. Look straight down to the floor           keeping the back of the neck long.

·         Pull shoulders down and away from the ears while keeping elbows straight.

·         Slowly lift one hand/arm up off the floor while keeping the shoulder away from the ear.

·         Slowly lower and alternate sides.‍

How well can you keep the shoulders down and away from the ears? How high can you lift your arm off the floor without your lower back arching or moving? Is there any clicking? Is there any stiffness or pain?

This exercise checks to see how well you can control and stabilise the shoulder joint.

It is so important from an injury prevention point of view to have good mobility and stability in your shoulder joint. The basic building blocks to strength training and training stability muscles can sometimes be overlooked in home programmes and workout sessions. Before doing heavy lifting having the foundations laid is vital to prevent overload and incorrect techniques and forming poor movement patterns. Practising and incorporating shoulder exercises into your weekly routine helps to build stability and mobility around the joint.  Practice makes Perfect.

Here at Head 2 Toe Chiropractic & Physiotherapy, Tricia teaches classes both Yoga and Pilates to help build on stability and mobility in the shoulders, as well as providing 1 to 1 sessions in Pilates and in rehabilitation to work on individual needs and requirements. Yvonne works on manipulation of the joint to help it to move more efficiently and effectively. Yvonne and Tricia truly believe in the importance of looking after your body and helping it to move well and age gracefully. As quoted by Jim Rohn “Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live”.

Are you passing all the above tests? If not, call us on 021-2011159 or email, info@head2toechiropractic.ie to book a consultation with Yvonne and Tricia.