Do your shoulders feel “tight” or “stiff”?
How well can you reach one arm over your shoulder and down your back while reaching the opposite one behind and up your back to touch your fists?
If your shoulders feel “tight or stiff” and you can’t get your fists at least 1 1/2 hand lengths close to each other (or you have pain while doing it) than you are at risk for seriously injuring your shoulder when you do certain lifting exercises.
Check out the pictures below.
In photo #1 my fists are nearly touching, I’m looking straight ahead and my low back is not arching excessively.
In photos #2 and #3, I demo what you don’t want your screen to look like. The fists are too far away from each other and in #3 you can see that I am straining and reaching my neck and my low back is arching.
Using the specialized training and education I’ve had through the Functional Movement Systems, every client at Her Fitness gets screened and the shoulder mobility screen tells me how to customize your training experience.
The screen also tells me how to keep you safe and improve the areas or movement patterns that need help and push the areas and movements you are already strong in.
Okay, so why does this matter? Why does it matter if you can or can’t get your fists close, especially if you DON’T have pain?
- If your movement pattern is dysfunctional you will automatically compensate for this dysfunction.
- Compensation means you do something unnatural or unnecessary somewhere else to help the shoulder keep up with the demands. “These allowances create small amounts of stress and strain…” somewhere else. (1)
- This stress and strain causes irritation in muscles, joints, ligaments, connective tissue or nerves.
- Stress and strain equals damage, maybe none that you feel right now, but damage is begin done.
- You have a weakness or an “energy leak”. Energy leaks are missed opportunities to getting stronger, leaner, more fit.
- When you do become injured, not only is it painful, but you lose time. Time that you can’t get back. Time missed with family because you are at physical therapy, time missed at work because you can’t function, and so on.
What are some fixes?
- Breathing properly. Horizontal, not vertical. Breathe into your sides and get those ribs moving. There are many ways to set up, here is one called 3-Month Breathing: 3-5 breaths, daily.
2. Mobility Drills: Side Lying Windmill: Try these 8x on each side, every day.
Try these out and let me know how you feel!
p.s. If you don’t pass the “test” do NOT do shoulder press, bench press or chest press;)