Your shoulders are one of the most amazing structures in your body. They allow us to do a wide variety of things through their ability to move through a huge range of motion. Nothing else in your body even comes close to them in this regards and thanks to them we can do everything from throw a ball to cinch in an armlock.
The trade off, though, is that they are much more prone to injury than most joints. They can easily get put into a position where they are weak and vulnerable, making it important to keep your shoulders strong and healthy.
A big part of this is your shoulder mobility. Unlike flexibility, which is your ability to relax into a range of motion, mobility is defined as your ability to control and exert force through a range of motion.
This means that if you can stretch your shoulders into a position that you can’t actively control then you have a gap between your flexibility and mobility, and it is this gap where the potential for injury is greatest.
So while you certainly need to do some shoulder stretching, especially if you are really tight, you also have to incorporate mobility drills into your routine as well.
While there are a lot of ways to do this one of my favorite methods lately is to use Stick Drills. By holding a stick in both hands you are able to connect both sides of the body, maintain better tension throughout the range of motion and help improve your mobility faster (this is based on my experience and observations so please don’t ask for the studies).
In this video I go over some of my favorite Stick Drills to improve your shoulder mobility. They are a great way to warm up before training or anytime your shoulders start to feel tight.
Using mobility training like this can help stack the odds in your favor by improving the range of motion you can control and decreasing your risk of injury. We need all the help we can get on the mats and hopefully these Stick Drills will help you like they’ve helped me.
Until next time…