The fourth and final installment (for now) in A Quick Tip for Improving Shoulder Mobility will offer you one more tip for improving your shoulder mobility.
If you missed part 1, 2 or 3, they’re quick reads and it would be best to read them before this post as the order matters.
This next tip is similar to the previous tip in that it is a CAR-a Controlled Articular Rotation.
Genohumeral CARs are a great way to explore your current range of motion (ROM) as well as simultaneously a way to improve your ROM. CARs lubricate the joint via stimulating synovial fluid production and they stimulate all the receptors in the joint capsule. Performing a glenohumeral CAR also brings your humerus into your fullest internal and external rotation. Lastly, CARs can help develop increased strength at your end ranges of motion.
How is this related to you and your endeavors?
Well if you are doing anything overhead this CAR exercise is helping to improve your ROM for overhead work: pressing something/someone over your head, doing a handstand or hanging from an aerial apparatus.
Also, working the internal/external rotation of the glenohumeral joint is great for circus endeavors: creating more external rotation for hanging from an aerial apparatus or in your handstand. While more internal rotation is needed for skin the cat moves, back levers or side planches-to name a few. When it comes to fitness and life, improving your internal/external rotation just means better movement quality and more options to move the shoulder in while performing your workouts or just getting the bag in the overhead bin on a plane.
- Stand with your feet hip distant apart
- Place hands by your sides and make fists
- Take a diaphragmatic breath
- Contract core
- Radiate that contraction out. Letting it spill out into your glutes, hips and down your legs as well as up and into your arms and hands. This is an isometric contraction. You’ll want to contract your core and the rest of your muscles about 50% of their isometric contraction ability.
- This full-body isometric contraction is to ensure that while performing the glenohumeral CAR that nothing is moving in your body except the humerus in the glenoid (shoulder socket). We don’t want the spine to side bend, twist, flex or extend or the head to move in any direction.
- Once you have the isometric tension, begin to flex your arm up towards the ceiling as high as your arm goes without any changes in your body. This first step isn’t under tension.
- Then internal rotate the humeral head in the genoid; this will spin the armpit away from you. Continue to internal rotate as your continue to pull the arm under tension into a large circle to the back and then down by your side. Coming to rest in your fullest internal rotation. Your pinky finger would be facing slightly forward or all the way forward.
- Then reverse the direction. Hyper extend the arm up behind you as much as you can, under that tension, until you can’t lift up any more while in your maximum internal rotation. Then begin to unwind via external rotation as you pull your circle back up towards the ceiling so that your arm is inline with your ear and then extend the arm back down at rest next to your body where it started.
- At no point in time should there be any pain. If you are experiencing pain, make the circle a little smaller-don’t pull your arm into that extreme range to cause pain.
- Move the humerus with effort, as if moving through thick fog. You are creating the resistance. Have this resistance feel about 60-70% tension-a little more than you have isometrically contracted your body.
- Feel the rotation. Feel the effort. Feel your strength.
- Do 5-8 rotations in one direction and then the other direction. Then do the other arm.
Below is the video for performing your glenohumeral CAR.
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