The shoulder is a ball-and-socket joint (glenohumeral joint) with the greatest range of motion of any joint in the body. Think of it: Your arm reaches in its shoulder socket above you to behind your head, and below all the way up to the middle of your back.
An Example of Shoulder Use: The Pitcher
Baseball pitching is an extreme example of shoulder use and demonstrates its range. The pitcher winds up with full movement of the shoulder, then retracts the shoulder with a force like a bow. Then the arm, with the assistance of nearby muscles, releases that power. Without flexibility, the arm is limited in its power to launch a baseball.
The Importance of Shoulder Flexibility
Shoulder flexibility is important for several reasons:
- Reduced shoulder flexibility strains muscles and causes injuries.
- A broad range of motion in the shoulder helps transfer force across your body for increased effectiveness.
- Flexibility of surrounding muscles and joints is important to support the glenohumeral joint.
Some important weightlifting exercises like military presses or snatches need to be limited if your shoulder flexibility is diminished. Increase your flexibility before attempting these exercises.
Try These Stretches to Increase Shoulder Flexibility
Videos of these exercises are available on YouTube.
Increase the flexibility of pecs, upper back, and posterior rotator cuff with these exercises:
- Cross Arm Stretch: In a standing position, pull your arm across your body and pull the shoulder blade back.
- Sleeper Stretch: While lying down and with head supported, press your lower hand against the weight of your upper hand, and lift.
- Pec Stretch: Lie on a foam roller, head to tailbone. Drop arms to floor, bent at the elbow. Raise elbows and lower, stretching pecs.
These Exercises Help Maintain Shoulder Flexibility
Once range of motion is established, use these exercises to strengthen and maintain.
- Wing Stretch: Against the wall, keep your spine neutral and ribs down as you extend your arms overhead.
- Dumbbell Military Press: Don’t full extend the arms during this press if you have any pain. Instead, limit your motion and weight and work your way up.
- Lawnmower Pull: This exercise is great for rotator cuffs and back muscles. Keep your trapezius relaxed.
Increase Your Flexibility with Chiropractic Care
For maximum shoulder flexibility, incorporate these exercises into your warm-up and cool-down routines. This will increase range of motion and help to prevent shoulder injuries.
King Chiropractic helps increase your range of motion, too. A full range of motion is one of the keys to a healthy body. To restore full range of motion, improve your lifting performance, and get fast pain relief from injuries or shoulder pain, call King Chiropractic today at (910) 777-7228.