Updated: May 31
The shoulder is the most mobile joint in the body so it's not surprising its one of the most commonly jacked up joints as well.
Nearly everyone I have worked with has messed up their shoulder at one time or another. Including me. It's really easy done.
Thankfully it's also relatively easy to fix. Once you know how.
To know what exactly we have to do we have to understand how the shoulder works.
The humerus bone (upper arm) is the ball of the ball and socket joint and it sits into the glenoid cavity of the scapula, which, you've guessed it is the socket.
A shallow socket at that.
So this is a happy shoulder joint below.
If your shoulder is truly happy it should be sitting in the middle of the socket with all the tendons and muscles acting on it equally to keep it nice and balanced, strong and mobile.
If you do too much of certain movements it can cause an imbalance and pull the shoulder too far out of its happy place in the centre of the joint.
If all you do is bench bench bench, your shoulder is probably sitting somewhere around here.
Now you might not mind those rounded pulled forward shoulders but i'll tell you what you will mind.
The boo boo you get once you try to do anything different. At all.
What i'm trying to say is if you have muscle weakness or tightness it will affect how your shoulder operates.
Tight lats? Crap overhead flexion.
Tight pec? Rounded shoulders.
Tight traps? Headaches.
Yada yada yada.
you see what i'm getting at?
What you need to do to fix all of your shoulder problems is treat your shoulder joint like a joint.
That means training it in ALL directions and in all ranges of motion under control.
And I know it's easy to say but it doesn't have to be that difficult to do either.
If I had to pick three things for you to add into your workouts to give you happy healthy shoulders that can do anything you want them to, it would be these.
1. Shoulder CARS.
No, not brum brum cars. CARS. Controlled Articular Rotations. Fancy name but really simple to do and a really basic concept. It means just moving your shoulder through its full range of motion with control and intention.
Try this one below and it should highlight any range restrictions you might have.
This is the shoulder CAR from the Mobility Reset program. Get it here.
2. Cuban rotations.
These are just great. They strengthen all four rotator cuffs and rotator cuffs are one of the main culprits in shoulder injury. There isn't enough time for all the good things I have to say about this exercise.
3. Work your extension.
Most folks have terrible shoulder extension. I mean terrible. Shoulder extension is a seriously undertrained range that your shoulder should have.
This quick video will show you how to build strength in that long forgotten range!
Look everyone wants to do the fun stuff. I get it. But you really need to pay attention to the pitfalls of ignoring how your body is supposed to move because it will bite you in the ass and you won't be doing any fun stuff when you're injured.
Keep an eye on your body because spending a bit of time keeping everything ticking over nicely will end up being more time spent do what you love.
If you need help improving your mobility, get the Mobility Reset here.