Warm up those shoulders well!

If you are looking for a fast and efficient warm-up for anyone having a shoulder problem, this one is for you!

Why is shoulder discomfort* so common?

The most common problem I see in the gym with my members who do CrossFit is shoulder-related. It’s not surprising considering most of them are working 9 to 5, in a seated position. Your body remembers the position you take daily. Just like in training, if you did a lot of bench press and push-ups, chances your shoulders are internally rotated at the end of the day are high. So, if you spent your day with your shoulders internally rotated, with your head leaning forward and your scapula protracted, good luck if you want to hit a snatch without a proper warm-up/activation.

Top three exercises for your shoulder

I thought I could give you today my 3 best top-notch exercises, especially if your that person who only have 5-10min before your next class.

#1. Banded shoulder external rotation:

Just put your arm inside a band, put that same hand behind your back and focus on letting the band doing the job. Let your pec stretch and let that shoulder getting where it is supposed to go. Take a good 3min/side.

#2. Band slides:

if you know the foam roll wall slides, that’s his big brother. Get your coach on this one because you will need to focus on many things. This is also an amazing « learning tool » I use with athletes who started to understand to work with their scaps. First of all, get a light band (mini-band). Start with you’re your elbow slightly under shoulder level, retract your scaps while keeping your rib cage straight. From that position, focus on keeping your elbow « inside » (adduction), keep all that tension on your mid and lower traps as well as serratus anterior. Bring your elbow to eyes level max, and go back down. Perform 10-15 reps with a 2 sec up and a 2 sec down. The moment your elbow flare on the side, you are done.

#3. Prone lat pulls up to W on incline bench:

Maybe it’s not the right exercise description, but still, that combination hit it where you need to feel exactly when you do any kind of pulling action. Steps are simple. a) retract your shoulder blades and push your hand as high as possible (think that someone is pressing against your hand), b) bring your thumbs to the ceiling while you bring arms on both sides and your scap downward, c)bring your elbow to your trunk and your thumbs as high as possible, you should feel your mid traps is the center of your movement.

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Karime El Hilmi, Strength and conditioning coach specialized in the physical development and preparation of Crossfit Athletes, Owner RXLab performance, Rocktape Ambassador