Shoulder exercise

Most of us living in this modern, fast paced world end up with some kind of shoulder pain at one point or another in our life. It seems as though it’s just part of life at this point. Fortunately, chronic shoulder pain doesn’t have to be part of our daily routine.
Most of us have little control over sitting and/or having our hands in front of us for the majority of the day. Our day to day routines largely consist of forward, sagittal plane movements such as driving, typing, eating and drinking and even being slumped over at the end of the day on our couch watching TV. All of these sagittal plane movements drastically contribute to our posture and the aches and pains we feel in our posterior chain.
For Example: What position are you in right now as you are reading this article or were you in 10 mins ago? I guarantee you are doing something in the sagittal plane meaning: sitting with your hands forward on your laptop, driving, at a desk or using your phone.

Unless for some reason you were doing jumping jacks this morning or making snow angels, when was the last time you had to repeatedly lift your arms out to the side? Or pulled backwards? (Be honest). Only moving in a single plane of motion, like the sagittal plane, and avoiding lateral movements in the frontal plane can lead to muscle imbalances and weaknesses. That is why we love movement such as the below side wall balls – where multiple planes are being utilized.

Unfortunately, the old saying is true “if you don’t use it you lose it.”. Not using the muscles in our mid back enough, leaves us with rounded internally rotated shoulders also known as kyphosis. This is because of overactive pecs, and/or lats leaving our shoulders in a vulnerable position susceptible to injury such as:

  • Impingement
  • Dislocation
  • Rotator cuff tears
Most people would benefit from a good stretching of their pecs, lats and trap 1 as well as strengthening of the rhomboids, traps 2&3 and rotator cuff muscles.
Chronic shoulder pain doesn’t have be part of your daily routine. The aches of chronic shoulder pain can be mitigated if not fully resolved with the right exercises to correct the muscle imbalances caused by our daily activities. Moving in another plane of motion, like the frontal plane, can rectify the damage done by the common activities forcing us to move more and more in the sagittal plane. Adding some simple frontal plane exercises give the shoulders more pain free range, allowing us to keep going with our day.