TOP SHOULDER EXERCISES FOR STRENGTH, MOBILITY, AND FLEXIBILITY
+ SHOULDER STABILITY FOR COMBAT SPORTS ATHLETES, AND MILITARY & LAW ENFORCEMENT PERSONELL
By Justin Snead
Elite Sports Medicine & Physical Therapy sees a variety of injuries, and works with individuals who are looking to reach their peak performance. Our PT, Justin Snead, specializes in treating and training combat sports athletes, helping them to maximize their strength, mobility, and overall performance.
A consistent complaint or point of injury for combat sports athletes is with the shoulders. So today we are going to talk through a couple of different exercises that you can do to keep good mobility and strength with your shoulder so you can continue training and maximize your potential.
The first one, you're going to stretch the muscles and tissue in the back part of your shoulder. What I want you to do is to retract your shoulder blade. So you're going to squeeze your shoulder blade back close to your spine. Keeping that shoulder blade squeezed to your spine, use your opposite hand at your elbow and gently pull across until you feel a general stretch in the back part of the shoulder.
What you want to avoid is allowing the shoulder to come all the way forward and the shoulder blade to come with it. So you're just going a little ways and will hold that stretch for 30 to 45 seconds. You can repeat this a couple of times throughout the day.
The next one, what you want to do, is increase the strength of your rotator cuff muscles. So you're going to use a weight and hold the weight out to the side, just a little bit. You don't need a heavy weight, light weight will work for this.
From here, once you get the arm held out to the side, you're just gently going to rotate the arm back and then let it come back into position nice and slow. Don't force the weight, don't force the range of motion, just work in a comfortable range of motion doing higher repetitions of around 20 repetitions.
Then from there, you're going to increase the strength in your thoracic area by putting a little bend in your knees, tightening up your core, so pulling your belly-button up and in. Crossing your arms across your chest, you want to keep your head and neck forward, keep your hips going straight ahead as you gently twist from side to side. Going back and forth, ten times to each side.
These exercises will help you maintain good strength, mobility, and flexibility in the muscles in and around the shoulder area.