3 Exercises to Future-proof Your Shoulder Mobility
Do you know that our shoulders are the most mobile joint in the body? Yes, it is supposed to. However, being hunched over our computers all day truly gives us limited shoulder mobility. Since it is certainly impossible to quit our jobs to prevent shoulder mobility issues, we decide to share simple exercises to future-proof your shoulder mobility (while keeping your job!).
What happens if my shoulders are not SO mobile?
A lack of shoulder overhead mobility can cause compensations in lifting or throwing motion, which could cause shoulder injury or pain or muscle strain on the neck or shoulder. This could be caused by multiple factors including tightness in the shoulder muscles, chest muscles, or a lack of mobility in the upper back (thoracic spine).
Conditions that are from Shoulders Mobility Issues
Below are the conditions that result from shoulder mobility issues:
- Frozen shoulders: It’s characterized by stiffness and pain in the shoulder joint. Most frozen shoulders get better on their own within 12 to 18 months.
- Rotator cuff injuries: Most often occur in people who perform repeated overhead motions for their job or in sports.
- Shoulder bursitis: It is most commonly caused by repetitive use and over-stressing around your shoulder joints, but it can also be caused by direct trauma or infection.
Exercises to future-proof Shoulder Mobility
Stretches and mobility exercises can help improve mobility in the thoracic spine and shoulder. There are common but important exercises as a part of any shoulder warm-up routine.
This stretch allows you to stretch your chest mall. To do this stretch:
- Stand in a doorway with elbows and arms forming a 90-degree angle. Your feet should be in a split stance.
- Bring your right arm up to shoulder height and place your palm and forearm on the doorway.
- Gently lean into the stretch, only going as far as comfortable.
- Hold the stretch for up to 30 seconds.
- Change sides and repeat. Perform on each side 2–3 times.
Chest expansion is a good stretch for your back muscles. It helps to open your chest and increase range of motion in your shoulders.
To do this stretch:
- Stand tall with your feet together.
- Hold the end of a towel in each hand, with your arms behind your body.
- Use the towel to help move your shoulder blades together and open your chest. This will cause you to look toward the ceiling.
- Hold this pose for up to 30 seconds.
- Repeat 3–5 times.
This is a good stretch to open the shoulder joint into flexion and to stretch your underarm muscles. Your lower back and spine can also benefit from this pose.To do this stretch:
- Kneel on an exercise mat. Make sure your body is upright.
- Slowly crawl your hands forward until your arms are extended in front of you. Keep your gaze downward.
- Lower your torso onto your thighs and your forehead on the ground.
- Hold this position while taking three deep breaths.
- Repeat 3–5 times.
Lastly, staying mobile on the shoulders is important for any sports and exercises and overall shoulder health. Should you have any doubt or book an appointment, do contact us.
Through her clinical experience, she then gained valuable experience in treating professional dancers and gymnastics athletes. Her interest in pre and post-natal physiotherapy was piqued as she finds women having difficulties maintaining an active lifestyle pre and post-childbirth. She then pursued a STOTT Rehab Pilates Instructor certification to help with this group and women. She also highlights her belief that prevention is a better way to handle injuries.