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Notes:

10 Reps
2 Sets
4 X week

Episode 550: Wall Slide [Perform it Right!]
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When performing any exercise, make sure that it is in line with your intent! People often compensate when performing wall slides with excessive scapular elevation. If strengthening the scapular elevators โ€“ upper trapezius and levator scapula โ€“ is the goal such as in patients with TOS (Thoracic Outlet Syndrome), then performing the wall slide with scapular elevation is not a problem. That being said, the wall slide shown here is designed to target the serratus anterior by maximizing scapular upward rotation, NOT elevation! Why is this important?
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Excessive activation of the deltoid and upper trapezius muscles could be counterproductive for scapulohumeral rhythm during shoulder elevation (Ellenbecker et al 2016). Increased upper trapezius and anterior deltoid muscle activity can cause reduced strength and coordination in the force couple between the lower trapezius and serratus anterior. Excessive upper trapezius and anterior deltoid muscle activity have also been linked to sub-acromial impingement.
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In order to achieve full overhead motion, you need to ensure that you have adequate mobility at the glenohumeral joint, scapulothoracic joint, and thoracic spine. For many of those who lack shoulder mobility, it often isnโ€™t the actual glenohumeral joint that is limited. Rather, itโ€™s lack of full scapular upward rotation or full thoracic spine extension that is to blame.
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In this video the black blob represents the scapula:
1๏ธโƒฃPlace pressure into the wall to ensure you are engaging your scapula, which will make it easier to avoid excessive elevation of your shoulder girdle.
2๏ธโƒฃThere is roughly a 2:1 ration of glenohumeral joint to scapulothoracic joint motion. With 180 degrees of total shoulder flexion, will ideally have about 60 degrees of scapular upward rotation.
3๏ธโƒฃYou have the option of externally rotating your shoulder as you elevate, this will help inhibit the pecs which often take over during shoulder elevation.
4๏ธโƒฃA progression of this exercise is shown with a resistance band + a Wall life (which emphasizes the lower trapezius)

Quadruped Shoulder Overhead Reach
10 Reps
2 Sets

HOW: Begin on your hands and knees; hands under shoulders and knees under hips. Spread your shoulder blades by pushing your body away from the floor. Elevate one arm out to your side into a 90/90 position, the slowly reach over head. Attempt to keep the arm as close as you can towards the ceiling, as you reach overhead rotate your thumb towards the ceiling. Return to starting position and repeat!
COMPENSATION: Avoid allowing your shoulder blade to sag during this exercise. Make sure to keep your torso straight towards the floor, as many reach their arms towards the ceiling they are compensating with trunk rotation.
FEEL: You will feel the muscles of the shoulder blade work with this exercise.

Thoracic Extension With Foam Roller
60 Holds
2 Reps
4 X week

Going off of this weeks theme of improving shoulder overhead mobility. Did you know the last bit of shoulder elevation is attributed via thoracic spine extension? The average thoracic spine flexion is 35 degrees while extension is 25 degrees. With the hunched over position that most of us remain in throughout the day, we often lack the extension needed to reach overhead. When this area is stiff we often look to compensate with excessive motion either up (cervical spine) or down (lumbar spine) the kinetic chain which can lead to a cocktail of impairments.
Demonstrated here is a way to improve thoracic extension use a foam roller by @Mobloko , (use claim code โ€œPREHAB10โ€ for 10 dollars off).
-I lay down finding an area of the thoracic spine that I feel is stiff or Hypomobile. Then I go to end range trunk extension (hinging at the segments on the foam roller), this foam roller is essentially providing a Posterior to Anterior glide of the segments it is on. This posterior to anterior is essentially mimicking how the vertebrates move when going from flexion to relative extension.
-Make sure to keep your butt on the floor! This will help prevent you from hinging at the hips. Also avoid hinging at the lumbar spine.
-I continue to bring up the foam roller on my back and oscillate at end ranges of motion of thoracic extension.
-Perform this for 5 minutes, then reassess your thoracic extension or shoulder elveation range of motion to look for improvements. Tag someone with a stiff back that can benefit from this!

10 Reps
2 Sets
4 X week

HOW: Begin on your side, then bring the leg that is elevated over and across your body. Hold this leg onto the floor with the opposite arm. Make sure to keep the knee close to your chest to avoid motion coming from the low back. With the arm closer to the ceiling alternate between reaching in front of you and reaching back towards the floor. Perform slowly and attempt to reach as far back as you can towards the floor. Exhale as you are rotate. While laying on my left side shown here, I am working on my Right rotation.
FEEL: You will feel a stretch in the middle of your back, specifically the thoracic spine. You may additionally feel a stretch in the front of the shoulder reaching back towards the floor.

Quadruped Dynamic Lat Mobilization With Stick
10 Reps
2 Sets
10 X week

HOW: Begin with your arms elevated on something like a bench shown here while grabbing onto something like a dowel or pipe- The more spread your hands, the greater the stretch. Then hinge back into a childโ€™s pose position, this will bring the arms overhead. Slowly work into and out of this position.
FEEL: You will feel the muscles on the side of your torso being stretched, specifically in the Lat region.
COMPENSATION: Avoid arching the low back as you go through this, if your elbow are being irritated with this stretch then bring your hands a bit more narrow.

Shoulder Preparation Using Crossover Symmetry
5 Reps
2 Sets
4 X week

Here is a Shoulder preparation routine I like to use prior to an upper body day in the gym or I like to prescribe prior to competing for any overhead athlete. Perform 5 repetitions of each.
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1๏ธโƒฃShoulder External Rotation with arms at side
2๏ธโƒฃShoulder Tโ€™s
3๏ธโƒฃShoulder External Rotation with arms elevated to 90 degrees of abduction
4๏ธโƒฃShoulder Internal Rotation- Donโ€™t forget Subscapularis is the strongest rotator cuff muscle
5๏ธโƒฃResisted Wall Angel
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I particularly like this cross over symmetry unit because of the external demand into horizontal adduction, this also allows me to go through more range of motion with exercises such as the T or shoulder external rotation with arms at side compared to a normal pulley with the anchor directly in front of my shoulder.

Scapula Control Technique
10 Reps
2 Sets
4 X week

Your scapula aka your shoulder blade is often very difficult for people to find. If you donโ€™t initiate movements like rows or pull-ups from the scapula = you will โ€œarmโ€ the movement. Meaning you will rely heavily on shoulder and arm muscles. Your scapula is able to handle more load than your arm muscles.
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With any movement you want to move proximally to distally, the scapula should initiate the motion when performing a movement like the Row, Lat Pull-Down, or when performing pull-ups.
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Shown here are a couple movements that will help improve scapula control.
Realize that at First implementing this strategy may decrease your performance, however the potential to improve your performance increases.
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1๏ธโƒฃstart in open chain with your arms moving in space
2๏ธโƒฃadd a resistance band which will help give a resistance cue to target the scapula retractors (muscles that pull your shoulder blade back)
-keep minimal elbow flexion here
3๏ธโƒฃperform scapula pull-ups also with minimal elbow flexion

Shoulder Around The World
5 Reps
2 Sets
4 X week

HOW: Standing about upper arm distance away from the wall. Begin with your hand by your side and palm facing towards you. Bring your arm up and around until you hit a โ€œstickyโ€ spot, then rotate your palm facing towards the wall. Follow this motion all the around back to the starting position and repeat. You can change your distance away from the wall depending on your intended difficulty. The closer you are to the wall the more challenging to go around, the further you are from the wall the less mobility you need from your shoulder and the easier the exercise becomes.
FEEL: All of your shoulder muscles will be working, you may feel a stretch at some of these stick spots.
COMPENSATIONS: Avoid moving much from the torso, most of the movement should be specific to the shoulder itself.

Shoulder 90/90 Inverted Kettlebell Carry
60 Holds
2 Sets
4 X week

HOW: Lift the kettlebell up to your shoulder. Keep the scapula neutral and maintain the forearm vertical to the ground for the entirety of this exercise. Maintain shoulder and elbows flexed to 90 degrees as you walk.

FEEL: The shoulder musculature.

COMPENSATION: Excessive shrugging of the shoulder and rounding of the shoulder blade.

Kettlebell Overhead Carry
60 Holds
2 Sets
4 X week

HOW: Lift the kettlebell up to your shoulder. Wrap triceps in towards your armpit, this will help stay engaged at the scapula. Maintain this overhead position for the entirety of the walk.

FEEL: The shoulder musculature.

COMPENSATION: Excessive shrugging of the shoulder and rounding of the shoulder blade.