One of the top concerns seen in CrossFitters is sore shoulders. This is no surprise considering the high demands placed on them during heavy, dynamic, overhead movements involved in workouts.
High-velocity movements with Olympic lifting, kipping, and muscle ups as well as the overhead strength and control required to perform handstand skills require a solid level of base flexibility as well as strength.
To hang off a bar, perform a kip or handstand, or push a barbell overhead, you first need to be able to put your arms above your head – or create a straight line from your hands down to your hips. This requires movement within your shoulder joint, as well as flexibility through your lats, pecs, and the joints in your thoracic spine.
To move comfortably through a range with skills such as clean and jerks, thrusters, front or back squats, shoulder internal and external rotation is needed through the shoulder joint and rotator cuff.
Watch the following video to see how you can test your shoulder mobility.
If you have tight shoulders it is important to first work on improving your range of motion.
If your mobility is good, then you can start working on building strength and control.
Start with the basics – slow, controlled movements. Once you have developed good movement patterns and strength, you can progress to quicker, heavier movements.
However, to get the most targeted and effective exercise for you shoulder it’s always important to get an individualised assessment from a professional.
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