Filed Under (General) by Rick Kaselj
In this video, I am going to answer a question that I received from the Exercises for Injuries Secret Facebook Group. It is related to the previous video where I got Donnalee to go through the Floor Wall Slides. In that exercise, you are lying on your back and you are moving your arms along the floor to overhead and back down in order to help with proper movement in the shoulder, firing all the muscles properly in the shoulder and having all the joints work properly in the shoulder.
What if you can’t do the Floor Wall Slide? What if you can’t keep your arm along the floor when doing the exercise?
I wanted to go through three things that you can do and how you will do it. First, see how you are doing the four wall slide and then do these three exercises. Then re-test or do that Floor Wall Slide again and see if there are improvements.
3 Exercises that You Can Do if You Can’t Do the Floor Wall Slides
CLICK HERE to watch the YouTube video.
I get Donnalee to go through the Floor Wall Slide and then we will go to the first exercise. In this exercise, your arms are out to the side and you are going to slide the arms along the floor. You are bringing the arms over head and bringing the palms together and then coming back slowly.
Floor Wall Slide
Most people are great with things except maybe that last 10% and that’s important because that last 10% puts your shoulder at greater stress and risk of injury. You can’t ignore that last 10%. You have to work on it so you can have full range like Donnalee does.
Some people are able to bring their arms along the ground but they just can’t have their hands on the ground. Now this is what you will do if that is the case.
#1 – Foam Rolling the Thoracic Spine
Donnalee puts the foam roller at the lower part of her mid back. She is going to pop herself up and then roll. She is going to roll down and come back. She is staying straight over the foam roller and she is foam rolling over that mid back area.
Foam Rolling the Thoracic Spine
Start at that lower back and rolling back to the mid shoulder blades or to the upper shoulder blades, you are not getting into that neck. We are loosening up the thoracic spine more like putting pressure on it and loosening it up in that anterior direction.
#2 – Arms Over Head on the Foam Roller
This is a little bit more of an aggressive thoracic exercise. You can use a tubing or you can put something in your hands to give you some sort of resistance and it’s about shoulder width apart and then you’ve got that foam roller in that thoracic area.
Arms Over Head on the Foam Roller
You are going to bring the arms over head and arch at that spot and work on trying to loosen up at that segment of the vertebrae. You are going to come back and you roll it up a little bit more and same thing arms over head and arching. With the tubing, it gives you something that grasp and having the arms overhead gives you a little bit more leverage to get a little more force going on in that thoracic spine.
We are really working on that extension part of the thoracic spine which tends to be really tight and stiff in the vast majority of people. You keep moving up and go through like 5 steps through that mid back area.
#3 – Isometrics into a Foam Roller
We are doing things in this order. You can use a full foam roller or a half foam roller. In some ways, a half foam roller is working better. If you do not have a foam roller, you can use a towel.
You are going to lie on your back and you are going to find that spot when you lift your arms out to the side that you can’t bring your arm to the ground. That will be your gauge. At that point, you are going to bring the foam roller in there. Donnalee will have her thumb pointing up and she will push into that foam roller. She is going to relax. And then she is going to move up a little bit for about 30 degrees.
Isometrics into a Foam Roller
She’s really focusing on pushing it back and working those scapular muscles to have them do things. You can continue on with that isometric into that foam roller all the way over head. You can move the foam roller a little bit.
You probably notice that when you bring your arm out to the side, it will be fine to this point and then you need to add some rotation in order to have things open up in the shoulder to get your arm overhead. It varies for everyone on how high they can go before they have to rotate that shoulder and open things up. You will notice that along the side you might be like this and when you get further up you might be pushing that hand in.
You have to go through those isometrics. Once again, how many steps you will be doing depends on what point you can put your hand against the ground. You might do it for 3 steps or 5 steps. After going through those three exercises, then re-test or try things over again and see how that floor wall slide feels.
If you are not able to keep your arm along the ground when doing that floor wall slide, go through the three exercises. The first one is foam rolling the thoracic spine exercise, loosening up that thoracic spine. The second one is the arm over foam roller and you will go through the 5 steps to loosen up that mid back area. Lastly is the isometrics into the foam roller.
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Rick Kaselj, MS