Warming up is probably the most overlooked part of any workout I have seen in the gym. A good warmup may yield many benefits; from preventing injury to increasing one’s range of motion.
Shoulder mobility is particularly important for the clients that I train since most of them are sitting during their commute and workday. This can lead to harmful effects in posture causing their shoulders to slouch and round forward.
Tight shoulders can hinder movements such as pushups, pull-ups, and front squats.
One inexpensive way to warmup your shoulders is by using a taut stick like a PVC pipe. These can be found at Home Depot for about 2 bucks for 10′ ft. Cut it in half and share the mobility!
Here are a few simple exercises to prepare your shoulders for your workout.
1.) Start off with the PVC pipe in front of your body with your hands in a double overhand grip outside the width of your shoulders. Keep your arms extended and grip loose.
2.) Raise the PVC pipe in front of your body and lift overhead. Once overhead, retract the shoulder blades down and pull behind your back.
3.) From behind the back, keep your arms extended as you pass back up behind your head and into your starting position.
4.) You can adjust and widen your grip if that movement was too difficult. Narrow the grip if you had no difficulty executing the warmup drill. Repeat up to 10 times.
Shoulder Passthroughs: on one side at a time
1.) Start off in the same position for the shoulder passthroughs.
2.) Keeping the arms extended, lift the PVC pipe through one shoulder and and around your entire body.
3.) As you lift from the back come over the same shoulder and repeat 10 times.
4.) Repeat on the opposite shoulder.
External Rotator Stretch
2.) Holding with your right hand, place your left hand on the right side of the stick. Grab the pipe with your index finger and thumb. Pull so the pipe slides above your elbow and allow it to come close to your shoulders.
3.) With your right hand pull upwards towards the sky. Hold for 10 seconds before you repeat up 5 times.
4.) Repeat opposite side.
Optional: If you have tightness in your neck you can pull your right ear to your right shoulder creating space for the muscles in your neck to stretch out.
Your strong, sculpted, and now supple shoulders will thank you.