The shoulder complex, as the joint is often referred to is, well….actually quite complex!
When we consider how the shoulder works, there are so many components to consider. For a start there several joints that directly articulate around the shoulder and arguably lots more when considering how the body works as a chain. Then there are the numerous muscles that not only move the shoulder but also support and stabilise the joint in a rather complex fashion.
We should actually think of the shoulder as merely the end of the chain. Let’s think of a tennis serve. You might think of the service action as a shoulder dominant action but the shoulder is only the final piece of the jigsaw. It is thought that 50% of the work in a standing functional sporting movement takes place from the legs, 30% from the trunk and only 20% from the shoulder and upper limb!
We thought we’d show you a few of our favourite shoulder exercises that often form part of our rehab plans.
Lateral rotation with a band
A step to the side helps to engage some leg and trunk muscles whilst the rotator cuff shoulder muscles do their thing and rotate the arm out to the side. Got to keep that elbow tucked in though!
Tennis ball name spells
Leaning into the wall against the tennis ball with your back straight uses you core muscles nicely. Make small adjustments on the ball as is writing your name with the ball in small letters. You should start to feel the stabilising muscles working around the shoulder. A great low level exercise for stimulating these stabilisers
Banded kneeling wall outs
Using a resistance band as a circle, push out in to the band and from the kneeling position, walk each hand out and then back whilst keeping tension through the band at all times. A great way to condition the shoulder muscles and train proprioception (ability for the brain to know where your joint is in space) in the shoulder. Keep your back straight and you end up with a core work out too. It’s harder than it looks!
A great and fun way to train proprioception (joint position sense) and co-ordination for the upper limb. Try using it in a warm up for upper limb sports or just to improve your hand-eye co-ordinaiton. You can also try it in more challenging positions (in a lunge position or standing on one leg)
These are some great rehab options for shoulder injury and rehab but are not relevant for everyone! Any shoulder injury should be properly assessed by your physiotherapist and an individualised approach to rehab be applied. If you’re not injured, you’re unlikely to do any harm in trying them as a conditioning tool but again, an individualised approach to performance gains should be adopted!
Feel free to ask for our advice on 07938680320 or firstname.lastname@example.org and remember to get in touch if you have a shoulder problem to see how we can help!