Shoulder and Upper Back Stretch. Avoid holding your breath. Then walk feet backward, continuing to extend hips and straightening legs until you feel a stretch in your calves and hamstrings. You should perform light stretching before and moderate stretching after upper body workouts. Breathe while stretching and exhale at the peak of the stretch. This means that if you cannot military press approximately 66% of your chest press weight, then you should focus on prioritizing the shoulder joint. (This stretches the inferior capsule to allow for better overhead use.) Hold for five seconds and return to start position. More often than not, these injuries are due to improper form or lack of control when doing non-shoulder specific exercises. Grasp a dumbbell if necessary. Doing this will help you withstand those constant sport-specific movements, prevent injury and improve performance. Repeat the exercise for 10 - 20 repetitions. CHEST Scapular retraction refers to squeezing your shoulder blades together. The Best Strength and Power Superset for Athletes, Why Nutrition Isn't About Making the 'Perfect' Choice, Quick Cues to Clean Up Your Kettlebell Swing, A Peloton Bike Probably Won't Get You Your Dream Body. Another way to prevent shoulder joint injuries is to practice scapular retraction. Go as far as you can without straining or lifting your left shoulder. This is done to start to allow your shoulder to hang freely from your body. Any exercise that involves the shoulder joint will benefit from performing these stretches and drills, including the bench press. The shoulder joint is a ball and socket type of joint that enjoys the greatest freedom of movement compared to any other joint in our body. It is also important to learn about the rotator cuff and scapula in order to perform the appropriate exercises to strengthen and increase the range of motion for these structures. Move your shoulders back while lifted so that you squeeze your shoulder blade muscles together. Stop when your hand is level with your shoulder. Keep your left arm at your side with your elbow bent to 90 degrees and the forearm resting against your chest, palm down. Repeat 2 to 3 times. 6. The bench press causes the majority of shoulder joint injuries. To do this stretch: Stand with the feet hip-width apart. Place a forearm on each wall (or door jamb) with the elbows slightly below shoulder height. The exercises can be performed lying or sitting. Stretch your right arm above your head. Using bands is a low-impact form of exercise and less likely to result in injury. Strong shoulders can help prevent these injuries, which is why incorporating shoulder exercises into your strength-training routine is extremely important. Then do the whole exercise again with your right arm. We ask a lot from our shoulders, including having the strength and flexibility to reach, lift, hold, carry, press and pull. Keep knees slightly bent, back slightly arched (not rounded) and hips extended. Move your shoulders forward and you will feel a stretch along the backside of your shoulders. There are several deltoid "heads", including the anterior (front), lateral (side), and posterior (rear). Start by doing 5 repetitions of each exercise, 3 times a day. This stretch not only hits the shoulders, it's also a great all-in-one upper and lower body stretch for the calves, hamstrings, lower and upper back muscles. Always consult with a qualified healthcare professional prior to beginning any diet or exercise program or taking any dietary supplement. The rhomboid muscles are in the upper portion of your back and attach your shoulder blades to your thoracic spine — … Lack of retraction at the start of this movement could, as in the bench press, result in an unnatural or unexpected rotation of the shoulder joint and lead to injury. Learn how you can prevent these kind of injuries. Consider adding these injury-prevention techniques to your own plan as you progress to your peak physique! During sports movements, the knee, elbow and shoulder joints endure most of the stress. Reach behind your back and grasp the other end with your right hand. With your left hand, dangle a shirt or towel down over your back. If the shoulder joint is weaker in comparison to other muscles, injury can result. Learn more about taking care of your shoulders. Bodybuilding.com℠ and BodySpace® are trademarks of Bodybuilding.com. They also serve to warm up the target structure and prepare it for the workload it will receive. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds as your breathe normally. Early Specialization vs. Upper trapezius stretch Sitting with your back straight, tilt your head sideways toward your shoulder. To prevent soreness and tightening of the muscles, always stretch your triceps after any workout that includes pushing or pressing movements. Then … Then, raise your arms as high as you can until you feel a stretch in your biceps and shoulders. Supine Forward Elevation When the flat bench is performed through an exaggerated range of motion, such that the elbows drop below the same plane as the shoulder joint (so the upper arms go below parallel with the ground) the shoulder joint is forced to rotate slightly in order to accommodate the range. For a larger stretch, drop your shoulder blade on the opposite side toward the floor. The range of motion will only be a few inches or less. Triceps stretch: 30 seconds + 30 seconds. Repeat with the left arm. Repeat twice more before switching sides for three sets. 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