Ever wake up with tight, sore shoulders? Work at a desk all day and find that keeping good posture is more of a chore than anything? Shoulder mobility doesn’t come easy to most people. The truth is that our societal norms force us into rounded poor posture more often than not, which can cause a plethora of issues in and around the shoulder joint! A regular routine of stretching and mobility/strengthening is key to maintaining happy shoulders and longevity in them as well.
Two very important factors need to be considered :
1) Strength & Control
2) Stretching & Mobilizing
Working our shoulders through multiple ranges of motion (circumduction) is one of the most important things possible for shoulder health. If the shoulder girdle doesn’t have the ability to move fluently, it can cause impingements or inflammation of tissue that run across the shoulder joint itself. Making muscle work through different planes of movement helps to prevent muscles from becoming tight and inactive. The overhead position is often the most difficult and most neglected, but is extremely important to be able to perform properly. A majority of impingements and issues are caused because of improper technique in this position that can lead to long term issues and pain.
Almost everyone in our world today performs some kind of lifting or muscle demanding work at some point in their day or week; from as little as lifting a water jug or reams of paper in the office, to full on workout routines, sport, and everything else in-between. Unfortunately, the most at-risk population for shoulder injury are typically those that do less exercise in their day-to-day lives and therefore have less strength through their main postural and secondary muscles that allow them to perform certain movements or lifts. Now how can we address these issues in a proper manner that’s as effective as possible? Let me tell you!
If you’ve ever worked out at Body Architects before you’ve either seen or been told to stretch while using a band, we call this distracted stretching and it is highly effective! What it does that normal stretching doesn’t, is it releases any inward pressure on the joint. When we sleep, sit, drive, text or any other activity really our shoulders have forward and downward pressure on them constantly due to gravity. With the distracted stretching, we combat that by relieving pressure in the girdle and then take it through a range of motion that allows the muscles to relax more than if you were to just stretch and pull them normally.
Knowing is half the battle... couldn’t be more well put if I tried! Being aware that your posture or shoulder health isn’t as great as it should be, allows you to use the correct exercise routine to fix them. The shoulder joint or ’girdle’ as we refer to it, is a very complex joint. It is one of only two joints in our bodies that can perform circumduction, which means it can move in every direction (or should be able to). Unfortunately, that also means there is a ton of room for error and issues to occur… AWESOME!