I know I have gone over this subject before, but I think it’s worth talking about again. Shoulder pain, in short it sucks. It sucks waking up with an achy shoulder. It sucks picking up your kid and it feels like the joint is about to fall apart. It sucks reaching for a box of cereal in the cabinet and it hurting, however 99% of the time you do not have to do some funky stretch that pulls your shoulder in every direction possible. If you sit/stand in bad posture, I think you could make an argument that this may make your condition worse.

Things to do instead:

  1. Learn to Breathe: “I’m breathing right now,” every person reading this article. Yeah, I know and if you are not then please start doing so now. Back to the point, learn to breathe right! Breathing should go through our diaphragms. If you can’t breathe we may lose good position in the ribcage, which in turn will affect the spine. If the spine and ribcage are in awkward positions this can cause a long list of problems.
  2. Build a strong core: Max Shank likes to say, “having a weak core is like trying to shoot a canon out of a canoe.” In other words, if your core strength is lacking, muscles that surround your core will try to pick up the slack. Without a strong and controlled core, it becomes quite hard for the rest of the body to be strong and controlled.
  3. Thoracic Mobility/ Cervical Alignment: If you lack the ability to extend and rotate your thoracic spine your shoulders will not function to their fullest potential. If you need thoracic rotation (baseball players and other rotational sports) fix your thoracic extension first. It’s hard to fix rotation while sitting in a flexed position. If you have a forward head lean, and your neck sits in front of your shoulders and hips, once again proper shoulder function will be hard to achieve.
  4. Scapular Movement: The inability to move your scapula properly will affect the glenohumeral joint, fancy way of saying the shoulder.

Conclusion: If you have “tight” shoulders evaluate these 4 variables first. If you are lacking in one category or all four, then fix that first before you go jerking your shoulder in every direction.

Happy Training,