In our last post, Rotator Cuff 2.0, we showed you how to measure your shoulder range of motion so you can determine where to start on your execution.
If you haven't read it, then click here to read up and see where you should start.
We are going to assume in this post that you have acquired at least 120 degrees of overhead motion, and need help with getting that little extra for shoulder presses, pull-ups, etc.
This is the point where most get a little stuck, and need to start to train in areas that promote expansion on one side and compression on the other side.
All that fancy terminology means that we need to do these things unilaterally so we can access these positions easier.
For rowing motions, we like the alternating Lat pulldowns. These really help get a full pull and slight side bend on the row side, engaging the obliques. The opposite side opens up and expands as you breathe in.
The half get-up is another great way to stay in a supported position, all while driving air in the top hand to promote overhead motions. Below shows a basic variation, and once this is mastered, you could always go to a full Turkish Get-Up. (As a bonus, there is the half TUG with a screwdriver to promote rotations under loaded moves to help with more stability overhead as well).
Lastly, an inverted pike position is a nice way to bias airflow to the top portions of the upper back, and even loosen the neck as well.
You want to be able to maintain a tucked hip position with obliques here. No need to crunch hard on the abs as the exhale will put you in the right position. As you inhale you should feel the upper back expand. You and also play around with the amount of overhead motion you have as you progress.
Now you have some solutions on how to progress your overhead mobility with moves you can add into your workouts as warm-ups or accessory options to help keep the shoulders loose and stable.
There are plenty more variations you could try as this is a starting point. You may also have something more involved in your shoulder that is preventing you from yielding the results you desire.
In that case, feel free to send us your specific question at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will answer you personally ASAP.
Dr. Peter Dionisopoulos is the owner and founder of Dynamic Performance & Rehab. He has a Doctorate in Physical Therapy and enjoys to help active adults maintain their lifestyle and provide natural solutions to their pain.