Thumbs Up For Shoulder Stability

Summertime and shoulder stability, two things I am incredibly grateful for. This may sound a little silly, but take a minute to consider how difficult life would be without a functioning shoulder. The shoulder is a fascinating part of the body that offers a range of motion greater than any other joint. As much as we need mobility here we also need equal part stability. Daily events such as holding your child, grabbing something off a top shelf, riding bikes, yoga, paddling the river (to name a few) all require mobility and stability in this joint. And it’s summer… a time when we want to be able to reach for that cold pint or glass of bubbly. For this reason alone, I will be forever grateful for my shoulders.

Maybe it’s time we take a moment to give our shoulders a pat on the back for keeping us supported, strong and able-bodied to do the things we love. Have you ever considered how to give the love back?

I’d like to assume that we all spend an adequate amount of time warming up and activating the body before heading out for a day of adventure, or that we put a strong emphasis on mindful mobility and movement patterns before starting a workout. A girl can dream, right? Truth be told, there are days when I speed through my warm-ups. I have two children that need my attention along with a list of things that should get done. In short, my warmup is what suffers so I can get a workout or bike ride in. Having had a shoulder injury, I understand the debilitating effects it can have and have started to incorporate the movements below into regular warm-ups or when I have spare time. Whether you’re coming back from an injury or looking to be proactive, give these a go. Think about moving slowly and controlled, not rushing through the movements with a two-second hold at the top of each movement.

Shoulder Workout -3 sets, 8-12 reps per set:

Reverse snow angel:

            - Lay flat onto stomach, arms beside body in a hover with palms facing down.

            - Extend arms out and up eventually bringing them over head.

            - From top position sweep hands back to sides.

Scap push up:

            -Find plank.

            - Keeping a neutral spine, bring shoulder blades together as if squeezing a pencil in-between then pressing them apart as far as possible while palms ground into floor.

            * Elbows are not bending and you are not collapsing through the lower back.

            * For a scaled variation of plank drop to the knees.

Cuban Press:

            - Hands by the side, palms facing back.

            - Pull elbows high into a scarecrow like position, creating a 90 degree bend at elbow.

            - Flip palms up, knuckles to sky, rotating at the shoulder

            - Press overhead

            - Hinge elbow to 90 degree

            - Flip palms downward.

            - Bring arms back to sides.

            *Can be weighted with light dumbbells.