by Coach Fox
Mobility refers to the body’s ability to actively move through a given range of motion. Our joints were made to move through full ranges of motion (reaching our arms straight overhead or lowering into a squat), but life can seriously impact our mobility in negative ways if we let it. Being seated in a chair with our upper body hunched over a computer and shoulders rolled forward can lead to diminishing mobility over time and reduced ability to perform simple daily movements that our bodies are meant to do.
One of my 2019 resolutions was to improve my mobility, specifically in my shoulders, because I was tired of feeling discomfort when raising my arms to take off a tee-shirt, twisting my arm back to put on my jacket, or sometimes even just turning the steering wheel. So this is my year to change all of that!
Making a commitment to improved mobility will reap benefits when it comes to the effectiveness of your WOD’s and overall health. There are a ton of great shoulder stretches that you can do with a band, towel, PVC, or a partner that will work wonders for your mobility (those can be another post), but here are a few of my favorite quick and easy shoulder exercises that you can do anywhere with no equipment needed.
Rotations: 10 reps forward and 10 reps backwards of each
- Shoulder Rotations – hands down at your sides, shrug shoulders in circles
- Arm Rotations (external) – arms straight out to your side, thumbs UP, move arms in small circles to big circles
- Arm Rotations (internal) – arms straight out to your side, thumbs DOWN, move arms in small circles to big circles
Dynamic Stretches: 10 reps of each
- Shoulder Swings (flexion/extension) – start with one arm down at your side and other arm extended overhead, gently swing the arm overhead down and the arm at your side overhead. Gradually increase speed of swings.
- Shoulder Hugs– start with arms out to your side and elbows bent, then wrap your arms around your torso (like you’re hugging yourself), then pull your elbows back behind your body.
- Wall Slides – stand against wall and set your hips, upper back, and shoulder blades back and down, rib cage tucked, and keep elbows and hands in contact with wall. From this position gently apply pressure and slowly reach up and back down.
Passive Stretches: hold for 1 minute
- Child’s Pose – lower down onto wide knees, draw your belly button towards your spine and sit back towards your heels, let your upper body fold towards the floor and reach arms straight out with palms down.
- Thread the Needle Pose – in the Child’s Pose position above, slide your right arm underneath your left arm with your palm facing up. Let your right shoulder come all the way down to the floor. Rest your right ear on the floor and look towards your left. Repeat with left arm.
- Doorway Stretch – stand in doorframe with arms out to your sides and elbows at a 90 degree angle, slowly walk forward until you feel a light stretch in your chest and shoulders.
What are some of your favorite ways to mobilize?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Coach Fox is a CF-L1 Coach who loves sharing her passion for the sport with others. There is no better feeling to her than seeing someone become a better version of themselves through CrossFit. For more about her, check out her bio.