Warm up Wednesday: Firing up those shoulders

We’re continuing on with the theme of building stability that we talked about on Monday.  Creating structure around mobile joints is so so important to support the best and most efficient motion.  Stability in the shoulder joint is essential to my golf swing and my workouts.

Gray Cook discusses in his article “Expanding the Joint by Join Approach” what true scapular stability means.  He addresses the considerations that must be made when working to develop better stability in that area and how most will approach it from a retraction standpoint, when realistically, one must also look at what he calls “distraction”.  I interpret that as what happens when the scapula are being pulled out of position.  He uses the Deadlift as an example, an easy one to visualize because as you hinge forward, the weight on the bar will want to pull the scapula out of position.  If true stability exists, these puppies stay in place throughout the motion, just as they would when performing a pushup or scapular retraction.

To take this one step further, what are the most common positions the shoulder joint ends up in throughout the day?  Reaching above your head, reaching from the ground, grabbing something behind you, picking something up……we ask those shoulders to do a lot!  I believe to truly train proper stability in the shoulder joint, you have to examine all the ways you use the joint, and work on exercises that will assist in improving those motions.

With this in mind, I put together 3 great stability exercises for the shoulder that can be performed consecutively and address the major motions of the shoulder we commonly do.

This is a great way to prime the shoulders in preparation for a workout and even something I use occasionally before I head to the course.

First I start with a Side Lying Stability Exercise.  Make sure to get the body lined up first and the head in a neutral position.  You want to use a Kettlebell with this one because it provides a different element of challenge.  As you slowly turn from the shoulder joint, the goal is the keep the weight moving smoothly.  10 Rotations

Next up is one portion of the Turkish Getup.  Simply set up with one knee bent and the kettlebell reaching to the ceiling on the same side.  The other leg is straight and at more of a 45 degree angle, as is my arm.  Begin by shifting the weight to the forearm and elbow first, then progressing to the hand as you reach the weight for the ceiling.  Very controlled, lower back down and repeat.  8 Get ups

To finish you will do a simple chest press, keeping the elbow at a 45 degree ankle and the hand turned towards you. 10 Presses

After you complete the combo one side, switch!  You can do a few sets on each side, the end result will be shoulders that feel ready for anything and the added bonus of improved thoracic spine movement.

Have fun!


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