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DIY Shoulder Flexibility Test: External Rotation

By admin | In Uncategorized | on November 15, 2011

Nobody likes to stretch.  There are only so many hours in the day to work, sleep, WOD, eat, bathe, forage for paleo foods, and watch the latest episode of Glee.  I get it.  But think of all the movements that you’re restricted in:  press, overhead squat, thruster, snatch, jerk, push press, kipping pull ups, muscle ups (turn out), and the list goes on.

Almost everybody has a degree of shoulder inflexibility from a life condemned to the western seated position.  Add a low desk, keyboard, and crappy monitor and voila you spend most of your waking hours reinforcing a posture that will inhibit your overhead movement.  The question is how much time do you spend undoing that muscle memory?  What is it worth to you?

The first step is to identify the problem.  Today we’ll look at one aspect of shoulder flexibility:

External Rotation:  Rotation away from the middle of the body.  Think “No $ Drill” movement,  your rack position for a front squat, and proper OHS position with “armpits” up.

Try this test from ExRx.net:

Photo courtesy of ExRx.net


Stand or sit. Raise your arm up at a 90 degree angle.  Make sure you keep your elbow bent at shoulder height with wrist above elbow.  Have someone stand beside you and hold your elbow so it is directly in line with your shoulder and gently pull your wrist back behind you until you feel tightness.  
If your wrist does not go slightly behind the front of your shoulder (or if your shoulders differ in range), try the following stretch:

Sometimes your arm isn’t sitting fully back in the socket, especially for those of you who slouch or slump your shoulders forward.  If that’s the case, try the following kettlebell mobility WOD prior to the PVC stretch. The whole vid is full of good stuff, but the kettlebell exercise starts at 3:21.


WOD 11.15.11

Press 3×5 or Wendler

AMRAP 12
Buy in with 1K Row

2 Muscle Ups (sub 4 Ring Dips)
4 Burpees
8 Kettlebell Swings

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