• Caitlin Cavarra Raymond, PT, DPT, OCS

Shoulder Mobility...What is it? Why is it important?

Shoulder mobility is how well your shoulder joint moves. The shoulder planes of movement include: flexion, abduction, internal rotation, external rotation, horizontal abduction and horizontal adduction. Most of the time, people are limited in overhead flexion and behind the back internal rotation.


This is important because think of your day-to-day activities and how often we use our arms...reaching in the cabinet, pouring coffee, getting dressed, reaching for your wallet, fastening your bra, lifting your kids, grabbing your purse or backpack. We use our arms ALL THE TIME!




If you happen to be limited in overhead flexion or how much you can fully reach overhead, then here are 2 exercises you need to try right now!


𝗜𝗺𝗽𝗿𝗼𝘃𝗲 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗢𝘃𝗲𝗿𝗵𝗲𝗮𝗱 𝗠𝗼𝗯𝗶𝗹𝗶𝘁𝘆 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗢𝘃𝗲𝗿𝗵𝗲𝗮𝗱 𝗢𝗽𝗲𝗻𝗲𝗿


This exercise focuses on improving 𝘦𝘹𝘵𝘦𝘯𝘴𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘰𝘧 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘛𝘩𝘰𝘳𝘢𝘤𝘪𝘤 𝘚𝘱𝘪𝘯𝘦 and 𝘦𝘭𝘦𝘷𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘰𝘧 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘎𝘭𝘦𝘯𝘰𝘩𝘶𝘮𝘦𝘳𝘢𝘭 𝘑𝘰𝘪𝘯𝘵 to increase your ability to fully reach overhead and perform any overhead exercise (snatch, presses, anything hanging from the bar, overhead squats)!


This exercise also feels awesome if you are stiff in your upper back, have been sitting a lot during the day or stuck in one position during the day. It’s also a great warm-up prior to working out. Try it, I dare you!



𝗛𝗼𝘄 𝘁𝗼 𝗣𝗲𝗿𝗳𝗼𝗿𝗺:

  1. Grab a barbell (about chest height) or use the wall or a countertop.

  2. Sink your chest toward the floor, feeling a stretch in your upper and/or midback. (wherever you’re limited) as you push your hips back.

  3. Hold anywhere from 3-5 seconds.

  4. Exhale as you sink down for a deeper stretch.

  5. Repeat 10-15x!



𝗜𝗺𝗽𝗿𝗼𝘃𝗲 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗢𝘃𝗲𝗿𝗵𝗲𝗮𝗱 𝗠𝗼𝗯𝗶𝗹𝗶𝘁𝘆 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗕𝗲𝗻𝗰𝗵 𝗧𝗵𝗼𝗿𝗮𝗰𝗶𝗰 𝗦𝗽𝗶𝗻𝗲 𝗠𝗼𝗯𝗶𝗹𝗶𝘇𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻


This is another exercise that focuses on improving 𝘦𝘹𝘵𝘦𝘯𝘴𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘰𝘧 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘛𝘩𝘰𝘳𝘢𝘤𝘪𝘤 𝘚𝘱𝘪𝘯𝘦 and 𝘦𝘭𝘦𝘷𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘰𝘧 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘎𝘭𝘦𝘯𝘰𝘩𝘶𝘮𝘦𝘳𝘢𝘭 𝘑𝘰𝘪𝘯𝘵 to increase your ability to fully reach overhead and perform any overhead exercise (snatch, presses, anything hanging from the bar, overhead squats)!


This is an intense thoracic spine self-mobilization and feels awesome if you’re stiff there! You can also bias stretching your lats if you think about keeping your lower back rounded as you shift your weight back. Even if you don’t have a bench, use a chair at home.



𝗛𝗼𝘄 𝘁𝗼 𝗣𝗲𝗿𝗳𝗼𝗿𝗺:

  1. Kneel on the ground in front of your bench or chair.

  2. Grab a PVC pipe or interlace your hands and put it behind your head.

  3. Sink your chest toward the floor, feeling a stretch in your upper and/or midback (wherever you’re limited) as you push your hips back.

  4. Hold for a breath, exhale as you sink down for a deeper stretch.

  5. Repeat 10-15x!



This may be uncomfortable if you have limitations in your shoulder joint but it should not increase any pain in your shoulder or back! Share with a stiff friend! If you still feel limited in your shoulder mobility or want to learn more, contact us today at 615-982-4062.

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