Scapula mobilization and sequences

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Scapula Mobilization Routine

This is a routine I desgined, after realizing the importance of Scapula mobility in improving shoulder health, flexibility and strength. If you are interested in one or all of these aspects, you should start to take better care of your scapula - mobilizing it in various directions, rotating it and using its various functions. This is only part of the picture when it comes to scapula and shoulder health, mobility and strength. More pieces of the puzzle around the corner.

The first exercise in the routine is The Scapula Push Up.
From a push up position, sink down, pulling your scapulas together and taking your chest towards the floor, without bending your elbows. From this position, elevate the upper body back up, while pushing the scapulas apart and rounding the upper back. You can add resistance by many forms, one of them is to hold an elastic band in each hand, wrap it around your upper back and perform the exercise, stretching the band while you are performing it.

The second exercise is the Overhead Straight Arm Pull Down.
It is a very simple exercise - from the hands up, shrugged shoulders position (handstand position) and while holding an elastic band, pull your arms down to your sides, until reaching shoulder height and while depressing the Scaupla and chambering the Humerus head (the end of the upper arm inserting into your shoulder capsule) into position.

The third exercise is The Whippet.
This is an old school exercise that is a staple in shoulder mobility and flexibility promotion. Hold an elastic band in both hands, wrapped around your upper back. Straighten your arms to the sides. From this position, bring the scapulas together and at the same time draw your hands closer behind your back, making sure to maintain an externally rotated upper arm position.
Hold the stretched position for the desired amount of time, and bring your hands back forward, passing the body line and bringing them closer together in the front, while driving the scapulas out as much as you can and widening your upper back.
Repeat for reps.

The fourth exercise is the Shoulder Dislocations with an elastic band.
From the hands above your head position with shrugged shoulders and while holding a suitable elastic band, rotate both arms backwards, while depressing the arms down in the shoulder sockets and maintaining an externally rotated upper arm. Rotate back up while elevating the arms in the shoulder capsule and reach a shrugged shoulders arms over head position.
I find little benefit in completing the front half of the circle, it is a waste of time- Perform only the the mentioned ROM.

One routine will consist of:
1. Scapula Push Ups X 10 reps / slow and controlled, pause at both ends
2. Overhead Straight Arm Pull Down X 10 reps / slow and controlled, pause at both ends
3. The Whippet X 10 reps / slow and controlled, pause at both ends
4. Shoulder Dislocations X 10 reps / Slow and controlled

In warm up I usualy use 1 run through the routine only, in Prehab/rehab blocks I will go as high as 5 run throughs.

New Sequence - Au Cortado Into Back Bridge

The easiest variation will be to perform a Half Au, hold momentarily, return to Squat and then go into the rotation entry into low bridge - as deep as your current level allows you, hold, and go back to the squat. Repeat to the other side.

The intermidiate variation will be to execute a full Au Cortado, land back into the Squat and then go through a complete Rotation Into Low Bridge, finishing in Squat again. Repeat on the other side and continue.

The advanced variation will be an Au Cortado Press, lower slowly into the Squat and then Rotation Into One Arm Low Bridge and back to Squat. Repeat to the other side.