One of the most common areas we attempt to improve in clients at Champion PT and Performance is overhead shoulder mobility. If you really think about it, we don’t need full overhead shoulder mobility much during our daily lives. So our bodies adapt and this seems to be a movement that is lost in many people over time if not nourished.
I’m often amazed at how many people have a significant loss of overhead mobility and really had no idea!
That’s not really the issue. The problem occurs when we start to use overhead mobility again, especially when doing it during our workouts and training. Exercises like a press, thruster, snatch, overhead squat, kipping pull up, toes to bar, handstand push up, wall ball, and many more all use the shoulder at end range of movement. But here are the real issues:
- Add using the shoulder to max end range of overhead mobility and we can run into trouble
- Add loading during a resisted exercise and we can run into trouble
- Add repetitions of this at end range and we can run into trouble
- Add speed (and thus force) to the exercise and we can run into trouble
This is why looking at overhead shoulder mobility is an important part of any shoulder impingement assessment.
4 Ways to Improve Overhead Shoulder Mobility
In this video I explain the 4 most common reasons why you lose overhead shoulder mobility and can work on to improve this movement:
- The shoulder
- The scapula
- The thoracic spine
- The lumbopelvic area
The first three are commonly address, but not so for the lumbopelvic area, which is often neglected. I’m going to expand on this even more in this month’s Inner Circle webinar. More info is below the video:
Assessing and Improving Overhead Shoulder Mobility
For those interested in learning more, I have a few Inner Circle webinars on how to assess and improve overhead shoulder mobility: