Own Your Shoulder Extension

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Own Your Shoulder Extension | Week 61 | Movement Fix Monday

Welcome back to Movement Fix Monday. I have a special surprise for you... I painted my garage! I know many of you had emailed me telling me to paint my garage, so I did. I listen. I hope you find it more visually pleasing. Anyway, on to the movement stuff.

Having adequate shoulder extension and flexibility of the anterior chest musculature is important to do things like dips, chest to bar pull ups, push ups, etc.

How can you check to see if you have easy shoulder extension?

In the video is a quick and dirty self test. While standing, interlock your fingers behind your back, roll your shoulders back, and lift your hands up from your waist. Can you lift off ~6 inches or more? If yes, this may not be a big limitation. If no, you should work to own this.

How do you work on this?

Passive stretching is okay at best. I'd rather someone learn how to control the range of motion under their own control and repetitively hit positions.

From the following list of progressions, I have someone work at the stage that is hardest for them that they can do well.

There is a series of progressions you can use to work on shoulder extension that are shown in the video and that I'll summarize here:

  1. Sitting position, fingers pointed out, hands 6" behind butt, roll the shoulders back and press down into the ground.
  2. Same as 1, but hands are farther back from butt
  3. Same as 2, but now you lift hips up
  4. Same as 3, but now after lifting hips up, shift your body forward and backward from your shoulders/arms
  5. Make this an open chain drill by going into kneeling, lock hands behind back, roll shoulders back, and lift

How many reps should I do?

This is the hardest question to answer, but generally you can start with 3-5 sets of 10 reps and go from there. Find the level you should be at from the steps above and start pumping out some nice, controlled reps. Don't be fast and sloppy. Own the movement!

Thanks for reading!

-Ryan

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