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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Surefire Stretches to Save your Shoulders



One of the most common injuries people come to me with is shoulder/rotator cuff injuries. From inflamed and overused trapezius muscles, to overstretched or torn rotator cuff attachments, there are many ways to injure a shoulder.

It’s understandable. For one, the shoulder joint is probably the most vulnerable joint to injury because the ball of the joint is larger than its encasement. The upper arms bone (hummerus), collar bone (clavicle) and shoulder blade (scapula) are the three bones that make up the joint. So, for the shoulder joint to be stable, the ligaments and tendons must be stretched and balanced to hold the joint in place.

Second, being into intense, full contact, adrenaline pumping sports myself, I can understand the challenge of slowing down the mind to be able to stretch properly. It does take mental discipline to be able to do this believe it or not. It teaches the mind and body how to transition and appreciate different kinds of intensity. For example, the stress relieving intensity of a deep stretch vs. pushing yourself to do 10 wind sprints in a row and not puke. They’re different animals, but both are necessary for balance. Think Yin and Yang;)

Below I’ve listed a few great shoulder stretches from www.shoulder-pain-management.com
Enjoy in good health!

Xoxoxoxo,
Your Trainer,
Erin Is Awesome

Pendulum Swings
Stand and lean over with arm hanging. Begin swinging the arm in small circles and gradually enlarge the size of the circles. Repeat 10 times.

Rotator Cuff Stretch I
Stand or sit.
Bend elbow at 90-degree angle, keeping elbows close to body, lower arms are pointed forward and parallel to floor, thumbs pointed up.
Move hands away from body until stretch is felt in shoulder.
Hold stretch for 30 seconds. Rest and repeat.

Rotator Cuff stretch II
Stand in front of doorframe bend elbow at 90-degree angle and place palm against doorframe. Move forward to stretch rotator cuff.

Rotator Cuff Stretch III
Sit or stand. Hands on waist, thumbs facing frontward. Bend at hips until body is resting on lap if sitting or parallel to floor if standing. Let arms hang toward floor to stretch the shoulder joint. Hold stretch for 20 seconds.

Back of shoulder stretch
Reach arm right across chest, use left hand to grasp arm just above elbow and gently pull arm farther across body until you feel a stretch in the back of the shoulder.
Hold stretch for 30 seconds. Rest and repeat.
Repeat on other side.

Overhead Stretch
Place hands on edge of counter top.
Bend upper body at hips at 90-degree angle.
Reach and stretch shoulders.

Towel Stretch - Internal Rotation
Place right hand behind back.
With the left hand, dangle a towel behind the back.
Grasp the towel with the right hand.
Gently pull the right hand upward by raising the left arm to stretch the right shoulder.
Towel should be in vertical position.
Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat on other side.

Towel Stretch - External Rotation
Place right hand behind back.
With the left hand, dangle a towel behind the back.
Grasp the towel with the right hand.
Pull right hand downward to stretch the left shoulder.
Towel should be in vertical position.
Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat on other side.

Wall Climb
Stand about 18 inches from a wall.
Face the wall. Place the fingertips of both hands against the wall and walk the fingers up the wall until you feel a stretch in your shoulders. Hold the stretch for a count of ten. Repeat ten times.

Wall Climb II
Turn sideways. Place the fingertips on the wall.
Arm should be slightly toward the front of body, rather than straight out to the side (at about a 30 degree angle to the front of the body)
Walk the fingers up the wall as high as they can go until you feel a stretch under the shoulder, without too much discomfort. Arm should be slightly toward the front of body, rather than straight out to the side (at about a 30 degree angle to the front of the body) Hold the stretch.

Sourced from www.shoulder-pain-management.com