I’m going to go a little bit off the beaten path with this post and show you guys one of my favorite drills. I typically don’t show drills on this blog just because I don’t want people to get the idea that there is one single drill, or one single exercise, or stretch that’s going to get you out of pain for a certain area, because frankly, that’s just not how the body works. Everybody’s body, and everybody’s pain is created a little bit differently and there needs to be more of an individualized approach. So the purpose of the drill that I’m going to show you today is to help warm up the shoulders before any kind of athletic moving, or any kind of of activity that you’re about to go do where you’ll need mobile, yet stable, shoulders.
I really like to use this drill personally to help warm my shoulders up and make sure that they both say stable, but also mobile while golfing and boxing. This is something that I’ve started to give to my golfers and it’s worked beautifully for them. So I figured I would share it with you guys today.
I like to use a kettlebell for this drill, and if you’ve ever read any of Pavel Tsatsouline’s books, you’ll see that this is a warmup he has people do for any kind of overhead lifting, which is another great reason to use this drill. If you don’t have a kettlebell, that’s okay, you can use a dumbbell. You can also use, a mace, which is set up essentially like a sledgehammer as long as you’re being safe with it (this is an advanced move to be doing with a sledgehammer or mace, and I wouldn’t suggest it if you’re a novice with this move).
***Please watch the video to see the technique***
In the video, I’m going to show you what it looks like with a kettlebell. So I’m going to go bottoms up, grabbing onto the horns. And I’m going to do is I’m going to start rotating around the back of my head, making sure that I’m saying safe with it. And I’m going to give it a couple of passes in one direction and then I’m going to reverse.
While you’re doing this drill, it doesn’t have to be a super heavy weight. That (weight I use in the video) was about 26 pounds of weight. That’s perfect for me. The purpose of this drill is to be both standing and moving your shoulders through full range of motion while stabilizing your core. My core was stabilizing as I was moving the weight off center, but you didn’t see me leaning from side to side with it. Your core is meant to transfer energy, but all too often people think they need to “shorten” the core muscles during an exercise in order to strengthen it (i.e., crunches). But think, if I’m swinging a golf club, you’re never going to see me crunch down to hit the golf ball to hit the golf ball. Similarly, if you’re lining up for a punch, you’re not going to punch somebody by crunching the spine. Instead, you’re going to push from the ground and transfer all your energy up through the core to your fist before point of contact. That’s what the core is meant to do. It’s meant to store that energy so that you can whip it from lower body to upper body. Moral of the story – you don’t need to crunch the core or move it side to side to make sure it’s activating.
Furthermore, stabilizing my core allows me to freely and safely move my shoulders through their full range of motion without feeling tight. Tightness can actually stem from a lack of core stability, and may not actually be a truly tight muscle.
Once again, this is not something that’s meant to rehab your shoulders. If this hurts while you’re doing it, please stop doing it and give us a call so we can help you get to the point where you can do that and you don’t have to worry about hurting your shoulder or creating more pain for yourself. Our number is (336) 933-1544. This is more of a warm up drill that can be turned into rehabilitative once you get to a certain level. So once again, if that hurts, it’s not the end of the line for you, you just need a little bit more of an individualized approach. If you try to do this drill and just push through the pain, you’re doing way more harm than good.
If you’re interested in learning more about how you can help your shoulder, I’ve written a FREE tips report on how to do just that, from the comfort of your own home, beginning today. It’s full of actionable advice that is my best attempt to help step you through the different approaches you must consider when dealing with a shoulder problem. Click here to download your FREE report today, and get yourself back to the active life you love without pain.