Mobility 3 - The Shoulders


Continuing on with our basic mobility enhancement exercises, today we present to you “shoulders”. As with the scapula exercise we introduced last week, doing this work will help reverse the damages of modern day, desk-bound living, enhance all daily upper body movements as well as up your performance game - no matter what that game is. The movement works really well in conjunction with the scapula exercise.

This exercise is a bit complicated to explain, so we’ve added a few additional images to give you a better visual. Keep scrolling!


Stand barefoot (unless out and about) with your feet flat on the ground, shoulder-width apart. Spread the floor with your feet and firmly contract all the muscles of your lower body. Keep your arms by your sides and straight. Make tight fists with your hands. Activating the non-working muscles - the muscles of the lower body, core and tightening of the fists send a strong neuromuscular signal to the muscles involved in the movement. This is called the principal of irradiation (AKA muscle cheering).

Open one of the hands wide, with fingers deliberately straight and spread apart. This will be the working arm. Keep your head reaching up towards the sky, chin pulling back slightly towards the neck to lengthen and shoulders blades secured in the sockets. Raise your arm up towards the ceiling and back behind you as far as the shoulder joint will allow and as close to your head as possible. Be sure to keep the elbow fully extended throughout the move. Pause at the top of the move, then internally rotate your arm as fully as possible, so that the thumb is facing forward and the pinky is facing back. Leading with the pinky, continue to rotate the arm around the back of the body while simultaneously continuing the internal rotation of the hand so that at the end of the move, the arm is once again by your side and the pinky is facing forward. The hand should end up in full, strong internal rotation.

This is half the move. To complete the exercise, reverse the movement. Raise the arm behind the body until you are met with strong resistance. Pause, and externally rotate the hand fully so that the thumb is now facing the sky. Leading with the thumb, continue to rotate the arm up and around towards the sky while simultaneously continuing the external rotation of the hand so that at the end of the move, the arm is extended toward the sky and the pinky is once again facing forward. As always, move with focus and intent, but not haste.

Do this 3x before repeating with the opposite arm.


  1. Keep the torso facing forward throughout the move.

  2. Keep your elbows fully extended throughout this move.

  3. Work into the resistance.

  4. Pay attention to what you are feeling throughout the exercise. Strong tension is fine, but beware of any pinch points. Work around them.

  5. Maintain posture throughout this exercise and move only through the shoulder girdle.

Next up: Upper Back.


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