Boost Your Shoulder Mobility With These Rotator Cuff Stretches!
I spend a lot of my time in the gym focusing on size and strength, in the past whenever I would get a slight pain or ache in my shoulder I'd disregard it and 'push through the pain' the problem here was I didn't understand that there was a difference between the muscular fatigue (good) soreness and an actual injury in progress.
Needless to say I've had several shoulder issues (rotator cuff impingements) primarily in my earlier years of lifting.
After spending hundreds of dollars on physiotherapy and massages I would recover, only to encounter the same issue again a few months down the track... besides a couple of warm up sets of the exercise I was about to perform I didn't do any dynamic stretching, foam rolling or mobility oriented drills.
Ever since then I have implemented some rotator cuff stretches as part of my warm-up/morning routine that has increased my shoulder flexibility and improved my overall posture (as I spend a large amount of time in my office working on my blog, books and other projects and find myself with a hunched back from time to time).
The Shoulder Dislocation (It's Not As Bad As It Sounds!)
When I first heard the name of this exercise I wanted nothing to do with it - however your shoulders WILL NOT actually dislocate by performing this exercise (provided you follow correct form).
All you need to perform the shoulder dislocation is a wooden pole or a resistance band - I personally prefer using the pole.
Ensure whatever you decide to use is LIGHT. Under not circumstances should you use a barbell, you'll injure yourself without a doubt.
Form When Performing Rotator Cuff Stretches
Here's how I perform my shoulder dislocations:
Grasp the pole or resistance band with a wide grip (the more you practise these and the more flexible your shoulders become the narrower grip you'll be able to utilize).
For the duration of the exercise squeeze your back muscle and shoulder blades together, maintain a relaxed chest.
Keeping your arms as straight as possible lift above your head until the pole/band touches your lower back.
Bring the pole/band overhead once again and return it to the starting position (touching your thighs) while maintaining straight arms.
Repeat for 3 sets of 10 reps.
Troubleshooting Your Shoulder Disolocations
If your arms are bending when going overhead your grip is not wide enough... widen your grip for now until your flexibility increases.
Maintain an upright position throughout, do not bend or twist your lower back (tensing your core will eliminate this issue).
Feel and concentrate on each repetition, don't go excessively fast - this isn't a power based exercise.
Don't bounce the resistance band/pole off your thighs or lower back on each repetition.