With the shoulder joint being a very vulnerable location, one must figure out proper shoulder warm-ups and movement prep. The shoulder joint is responsible for both stability and mobility, depending on the circumstance (with a great emphasis on mobility). These movements reduce the chance of injury if range of motion is an issue through dynamic stretching. Risk of injury might also lower due to prepping the supporting muscles of the shoulder for movement.
Here are 5 shoulder warm-up movements that will improve your shoulder health.
#1 PVC Shoulder Mobility Pass-Overs
Whether you use a PVC pipe, resistance band, or broomstick, shoulder mobility pass-overs are a great way to stretch the tense anterior side of your shoulders (pec/front delt) and mobilize the shoulder joint.
#2 Wall Circles
Such an easy yet effective movement. Utilize any wall for wall circles, as long as you don’t leave any hand or smudge marks haha. Wall circles help loosen your shoulders, similar to the PVC pass-overs.
#3 Thread-The-Needle Shoulder Mobility
The thread-the-needle movement assists with opening up the thoracic cavity, stretching the lats and upper back. The movement also works the rotational health of the thoracic spine through movement in the transverse plane.
#4 Quadruped Shoulder Press Prep (w/Foam Roller)
Pressing work without spinal loading and loaded compression of the shoulders? I like it! Utilizing a foam roller for overhead pressing movement patterns while in a quadruped position could be an tool for those looking to improve performance or general health.
#5 Thoracic Spine Rotation
Here is another rotation movement movement for general thoracic spine health. The standard quadruped thoracic spine rotation is an amazing tool to help open up the thoracic cavity and increase shoulder performance.
Based on my experience, I would incorporate these daily, whether you are training upper body during that session or not. These will prevent shoulder discomfort during barbell based lower body exercises, such as back squats, through increasing the range of motion of the shoulders.
Written By Hussien Jabai | NSCA CSCS