Importance of Shoulder Mobility
Are you experiencing limitations in your shoulder mobility and flexibility? It can be tempting to just shrug it off and power through the discomfort.
However, limited shoulder mobility isn’t something you should put up with, especially if it’s slowing you down. The compounded effect of your inaction might cause irreparable damage.
What’s the way forward then? First, you might want to take a simple test to see how bad it really is. We'll include that in this blog. The next step should be finding a routine that will gradually improve your shoulder mobility over time.
Whether you are into powerlifting or just want to offset the effects of sitting on your desk all day. The end goal is better shoulder health. Let’s dive in.
Shoulder Anatomy and Structure
Before we even look at the bones and muscles that make this complex joint. It’s important that we note the role that the scapula has to play. Adequate mobility in our shoulders relies heavily on the stability of the scapula. When your scapula is unstable, impingement tends to occur, compromising the health and the mobility of the shoulder.
On the other end of the spectrum however, when the scapula is overly stable, your range of motion is limited. Restricting your ability to perform certain movements.
Now, onto the anatomy. If you believe that the shoulder consists of one joint. Then you’re not alone. However this presumptuous assumption is anything but true. Four smaller joints make up the shoulder.
Two of these joints, the acromioclavicular and glenohumeral are located in the primary joint connecting the arm to the torso.
The other two joints, the sternoclavicular and scapulothoracic, constitute the breadth of this joint. The collarbone and the shoulder blades play an enormous role in motions involving the shoulder and arm. All these joints are connected using the rotator cuff consisting of four muscles.
Shoulder Mobility and Risk of Injury
Limited movement in your shoulders can be the birthplace of a prodigious amount of injuries. Whether you’re working out or just performing simple everyday tasks. Activities such as bending down and lifting 15 pounds of weight might result in a substantial amount of strain in your shoulder and joints. The only way to effectively avoid such injuries lies in flexible and mobile shoulders. Helping in preventing ligament damage while at the same time increasing endurance.
Shoulder Mobility for Better Workouts and Day Life.
With the newly acquired freedom of full range of motion. You might find that the rest of your full body workouts are a cinch. Having flexible shoulders increases your strength. While at the same time reducing the amount of load that your ligaments, bones, and joints have to bear.
Not to mention overhead shoulder mobility. From your weight lifting needs to just combing your hair and even giving high fives. It might not mean much to most people. But if this has been something you were unable to do for a while. You begin to appreciate these simple movements we often take for granted. Shoulder overhead mobility is an essential human movement you should always strive to have.
By sorting the problem of shoulder overhead mobility. Problems with your neck, back, and knee often also get rehabilitated. Affirming the importance of this type of mobility.
Shoulder Mobility for Physical Autonomy
You might want to engage in a more active lifestyle. Mountain/rock climbing, engaging in crossfit or even yoga. Well I have news for you. Limited mobility will make some of these activities harder for you if not impossible. However, with just a little determination and targeted workouts, you’re halfway there. Adding some simple shoulder stretches to your daily routine makes all the difference.
How Flexible Am I then? The Apley Scratch Test
Raise one arm over your head and the other straight down. Bend both your elbows in an attempt to have them meet right at the center of your back. Touching your fingers or further if possible. Repeat for both sides. Have someone measure the distance between your fingers.
So what does it all mean? The results are used to measure the flexion and extension of your range of motion. With the condition your fingers overlap, you have excellent mobility. If they touch, you have good mobility. On the occasion they're less than 2 inches apart you have average mobility. And if the distance is more than 2 inches apart your mobility is poor.
Whether the results of this test are poor or excellent. You’re here because you’re experiencing a little stiffness and problems with your shoulder. Here's a 21 min follow along focused on improving your shoulder mobility. Enjoy!
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