This spin up is something I use to help keep my arms and upper body moving well and prepare them for activity. This less than 5 minute set of activities can help you loosen things up as well as identify areas that need additional mobility work. It is a great way to check out your upper body and see how you are feeling for the day.
Stand with your feet about shoulder’s width apart.
Organize your spine by squeezing you belly and you butt about 20% throughout these activities.
Activity 1 – Cross Body Chopping. Chop across your body at about waist level. Turn the foot on the same side at the arm chopping across your body and keep the side you are chopping to locked in position. Do this 5 times per side. Then repeat with your arms biasing higher across your body, play with your hand position to see if it allows you to find areas of restriction.
Activity 2- Reverse Shoulder Blade Wheels. Stand like before. Now take one of your arms straighten your elbow and put your arm in front of your body parallel to the ground, now stretch your arm forward in front of you body as far as you can keeping and organized spine and letting your shoulder blade move forward. Now looking at your hand, slowly wheel your hand up over your head and then behind you, keeping your shoulder blade forward and up as much as possible. Repeat 5 times on each side. If you find an area of particular tension pause in that spot, take a deep breath in and out through your nose. This will help desensitize the area and free up the movement.
Activity 3- Forward Shoulder wheels. Start standing as before, with your arm at your side wheel it around and to the back, over your head, ending in the forward position. Do this 5 times on each side. This one is faster and normally easier than activity 2
Activity 4- Double Arm Push Backs – Start with both arms straight out in front of your body, elbows straight. Slightly bend your knees. Now push your arms down and back behind you while slightly bending your knees, to make the motion flow more easily. Do this 5 times.
Activity 5- Rotator Cuff Opener- Stand with feet wider than hip width distance, arms by your side. Now rock and twist to one side, you are going to use momentum to swing your arms and get an active mobilization of the area. As you rock you are trying to hit the front of your left shoulder with the palm of your right hand, and the back of your right shoulder with your back of your left hand. Now switch, as you rock and twist to the other side so the right hand now hits the back of your left shoulder and your left hand hits the front of your right shoulder. This will help you increase your ability to reach behind your back and unlock you subscapularis muscle.
Do these activities on days where you are going to do any overhead work, or working that moves your arms a bit (think running, swimming, tennis, golf). In less than 5 minutes you loosened too much of your muscles and helped identify if you have any stiff areas that may need additional work before you work out.
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