Improving Overhead Mobility

Improving Overhead Mobility

This Wellness Wednesday was written by Dr. Scott Murray, DC. If you’re struggling to lift objects without pain and discomfort, try these four exercises to improve your overhead mobility and reduce your risk of injury.

At a time when we are increasingly relying on technology and suffering from poor posture, more and more people are suffering from limited mobility. As a result, performing overhead lifts can cause pain in the front of the shoulder, back of the shoulder, and the neck.

To improve your mobility and strength, it’s important to keep your muscles flexible and joints stable.  Practicing proper posture and lifting with good form can also help improve your mobility while avoiding common shoulder injuries. Below are a few stretches you can incorporate into your daily routine to help relieve any lingering pain and regain shoulder mobility.

***Disclaimer: Always consult with your doctor before starting any exercise program.  If you experience any numbness, tingling or reproduction of your symptoms, please contact your doctor. 

1) Kneeling Thoracic Stretch

Goal: Improve Thoracic Mobility

  • Start on your hands and knees with your hips aligned over your knees and your shoulders over your hands.
  • Place one hand behind the head.
  • Lift your elbow up and rotate the torso as much as possible without moving your hips.
  • Complete 2 sets of 5 repetitions and hold the position for 5 seconds.

2) Lacrosse Ball: Shoulders

Goal: Improve Shoulder Mobility

  • Begin by leaning against the wall with the lacrosse ball just above the shoulder blade.
  • Slightly squat down, angled towards the wall, until you feel pressure on the muscle.
  • Scan the area for tender spots and rest the ball on those spots for no more than 15-20 seconds in each area.
  • To increase the intensity of the exercise, cross your working arm across the body.
  • Avoid any numbness or tingling and be careful not to bruise the tissue from extended pressure.
  • Repeat for 1 minute on each side, no more than twice a day.

3) Fonzie

Goal: Improve Shoulder Stability

  • Stand so that your back is flat against a wall.
  • Bend your arms with your elbows tucked at your sides.
  • Loop a resistance band around your hands, palms facing up.
  • Keeping your elbows bent, rotate your palms out so your thumbs nearly touch the wall.
  • Extend your arms straight out.
  • Return to the center and repeat 2 sets of 10 repetitions.

4) Wall Slides

Goal: Improve Shoulder Blade Mobility

  • Stand facing a wall with your forearms on the wall.
  • Slowly slide your arms up the wall, keeping the shoulders down.
  • Squeeze your shoulder blades together to barely lift your arms off the wall, then slowly lower your arms back down.
  • Complete 2 sets of 10 repetitions, twice a day.

Lifting Pain Free with Airrosti

If left untreated, shoulder pain can hinder both your lifting performance and your quality of life. If an injury or pain is keeping you out of the gym, schedule an appointment with Airrosti! Our expert providers can help you get back to doing what you love most in as few as three visits, based on patient-reported outcomes.

Please read our Medical Disclaimer here.

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