Rebuild your shoulders (stability & mobilty routine)

The structure of our shoulders allows our arms to have an enormous range of motion. They are made up of a complex anatomy of bones, ligaments and muscles which need to be used dynamically to keep them healthy.

It is very common for shoulder dysfunction to develop slowly, and because of this it often gets ignored until the problem has become quite significant.

Healthy shoulders require a diverse range of movement and loading to maintain both stability and range of motion. Quite simply the reason shoulder problems are so common is because we don't tend to use our shoulders in a very dynamic way, whether we have a sedentary lifestyle or not. As it is always easier to maintain health than regain it, I believe it is worth incorporating a little shoulder prehabilitation into your routine to avoid a whole host of injuries and to enjoy the freedom of movement enabled by cared-for shoulders.

One of the first things we can do with the shoulder is to restore 'normal' function. By normal function I mean: have a basic level of flexibility and strength in all directions, without pain. When we restore normal function many of the aches, pains and niggles of the shoulder resolve because we are treating the root of many shoulder problems.

This routine is designed to strengthen and stabilise the whole shoulder girdle and increase scapula stability, while improving range of motion. It can be used to rehabilitate minor injuries, although if you are experiencing significant shoulder pain then you should come and see me or another professional for assessment and guidance.

Warmup

  • shoulder rolls 2xx5
  • arm circles 2x5
  • wide fly pulses x15
  • german arm swings x15

Band work

  • scapula rolls 2x15 each side
  • external rotation x15 each side
  • adduction x15 each side
  • abduction x15 each side
  • overhead, lateral and drop rotations 2x15 on each

Bar/band

  • shoulder dislocates x10

Floor work

  • scapular pushup x15
  • table rocks x15

Additional exercises to try

  • passive hang from a bar
  • overhead, lateral and drop rotations with band anchored in front instead of behind

This routine can be done 2-4 times a week or as a warmup for shoulder heavy workouts. If you have any questions please leave a comment.

Restore your hips (mobility routine)

Our hips are an area that don't always get the attention they deserve. Due to social and environmental factors all around us our hips are prone to getting tight. 

Tightness in the tissue and muscles supporting the hips can lead to back problems, poor movement patterns, propensity to injury and excessive joint wear. So it is important to keep them well serviced and in good shape.

This video is designed as a general purpose hip mobility and stability routine that can be used to restore and maintain good hip function. It will build strength and flexibility together and many of the exercises are staple kungfu and gymnastics basics. It can be done everyday if desired, with or without a prior warm-up.

  • hip rotations - 5x each side
  • horse stance - 20x
  • bow stance - 20x each side
  • front lunge arch back - 10x each side
  • side lunge - 10x each side
  • cossack squat - 10x each side
  • sleeping luohan - 10x each side
  • swivel hips - 10x each side
  • repeat the exercise you found most challenging

Additional exercises to try:

  • straight leg hamstring stretch - 20x each side
  • flat foot deep squat - 2 minutes

Remember to mentally relax during this routine, start off gentle and build to a medium level of intensity on each exercise, explore all angles of each position yourself and enjoy the process.

Foot and ankle mobility

Our feet and ankles are literally the foundation for keeping us upright, so they an area that we should make sure is in good health.

Our use of chairs and shoes with raised heels tend to reduce the ranges of motion that we use in our ankles. Over the course of many years this can lead to very tight ankles and calves and to compensatory motor patterns.

Here is a 12-minute follow-along video specially designed to re-develop foot and ankle flexibility. It will you to help regain lost ranges of motion and strengthen up the weaker areas that we can often forget.

Our basic routine is as follows:

Ankle rotations - 10x in each direction
Plantar curls - 5x
Calf raises - 10x in each direction (neutral, in & out)
Calf stretch - 30 seconds
Soleus stretch - 30 seconds
Curled seizi - 30 seconds
Seizi - 30 seconds
Fingers in toes spread - 10x rotations and rocks
Single-leg stand - 30 seconds

We recommend you do this routine 2-3 times a week until you reach your desired mobility or just once a week if you are maintaining.

If you have any questions email us or leave a comment below