Elbow pain with pull-ups? Shoulder pain with handstands or any kind of overhead motion? Time to look at those shoulder blades.
The ability to actively fully elevate and depress your shoulder blades is imperative for normal overhead function. Here’s a drill that works on scapular control, with an emphasis on elevation and depression, and to a lesser extent, protraction and retraction.
To perform this movement, face the wall, raise your arms and place the palms of your hands flat on the wall. From here you’re going to lock out your elbows and think of your arm and shoulder as one single unit. Initiate the movement from your shoulder blades, attempting to slide your fingertips up towards the ceiling. Make sure not to shrug the shoulders, but rather think of pushing the bottom of your shoulder blades upward. Reverse this by depressing your shoulder blades, attempting to pull the bottom of your shoulder blades down and back. If you’re doing this properly, your hands should remain on the wall for the duration of the movement, while your body maintains a fixed distance from the wall.
Again, elbows should stay locked out, with the arm and shoulder moving as one unit. Your core should be engaged, preventing arching of the back/rib flaring, and make sure to breathe. Note, there isn’t a ton of motion with this movement, so avoid the temptation to bend your elbows, or arch/round your back to get more range.
This exercises can be performed with your arms at any angle, and I’ve opted for an angle that places the shoulder in what is known as the “scapular plane”, as it affords the best alignment for the shoulder. You can see that I’ve got some left shoulder dysfunction, so I’m making sure to work at a pain free angle.
Go slowly, focus on form, and engage the muscles around the shoulder blades. 3 sets of 5-10 depending on your needs, and stay out of painful ranges. #maestrofied ——————————————-
Be sure to follow The Movement Maestro on FB and Insta for all things #movement and #mobility related. Come move with the Maestro. #crossfit #fitspo #DPT #PT #physicaltherapy #physio #physiotherapy #BeMoreHuman #shoulders #overhead #pullups