Learning how to mobilize the shoulders

My road to building strength led to having to learn to mobilize my shoulders. After years of trying ‘to keep my shoulder blades down my back’, I had to retrain my brain to allow my shoulder blades to move. It was incredibly difficult to do… it’s feeling less awkward but still a ways to go.

Moving the shoulder blades through their intended ROM makes so much sense to me now — elevate, depress, protract, retract. The overused cue in yoga of keeping the shoulder blades down has led us to think they move in one direction only. Not only is this absurd, sometimes it’s just plain wrong.

The interesting aspect of this is that added mobility actually makes us stronger and is certainly a requirement of functional movement. As I have been integrating this type of movement in my classes, it is interesting to see many people unable to move their shoulder blades in pretty much any direction. Students sometimes look at me like I have 2 heads — not believing that their bodies can do this.

DO IT… every day and they will move! If it’s difficult for you try having someone place the palms of their hands on your shoulder blades as you move through these 4 ranges. This helps the brain connect to the movement. Don’t forget to do them in one direction and then switch to do them in reverse direction… more mind than body for this one.

(Originally posted to Instagram – follow along here »)

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