In this video, I will answer a question I received from the Exercises for Injuries Secret Facebook Group. It relates to a previous video where I had Donnalee go through Floor Wall Slides. In that exercise, you are lying on your back, moving your arms along the floor to overhead and back down 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. First, see how you are doing the Floor Wall Slide, and then try these three exercises. Then re-test or do that Floor Wall Slide again to see if there are improvements.
CLICK HERE to watch the YouTube video.
Traditional Floor Wall Slide
In the traditional Floor Wall Slide, your arms are out to the side. You will slide your arms along the floor, bringing your arms overhead, bringing you together, and then returning slowly.
Floor Wall Slide
Most can do this exercise, except for the last 10% of the movement. This is important because the last 10% puts your shoulder under greater stress and risk of injury. You have to work on this to have the full range of motion in your shoulder.
Some people can bring their arms along the ground but can’t have their hands on the ground. This is what you can do if that is the case.
1. Foam Rolling the Thoracic Spine
Place the foam roller on the lower part of your mid-back. Pop yourself up and then roll down and back up. Remain straight over the foam roller and roll over that mid-back area.
Foam Rolling the Thoracic Spine
We are loosening up the thoracic spine more by putting pressure on it and loosening it up in the anterior direction. Start at the lower back, rolling back to the mid-shoulder or upper shoulder blades. Do not roll onto your neck.
2. Arms Over Head on the Foam Roller
This is a slightly more aggressive thoracic exercise. Have your arms shoulder-width apart, and place the foam roller in your thoracic area. You can use tubing or put something in your hands to provide some resistance. A belt or dog leash will work.
Arms Over Head on the Foam Roller
Bring your arms overhead and arch at that spot, trying to loosen up that vertebrae segment. The tubing gives you something to grasp, and having the arms overhead gives you more leverage to place more force on the thoracic spine. As you work through the exercise, move the foam roller slightly higher on your thoracic spine, working on mobility in different areas of the thoracic spine.
We are working on the extension part of the thoracic spine, which tends to be tight and stiff in most people.
3. Isometrics into a Foam Roller
Use a full foam roller or a half foam roller. In some ways, a half foam roller works better. You can use a rolled-up towel if you do not have a foam roller.
Lie on your back and find that spot where you can’t bring your arms to the ground when you lift your arms out to the side. At that point, you are going to bring in the foam roller. Point your thumb up and push into that foam roller, then relax. And then move up about 30 degrees. This will be your gauge.
Isometrics into a Foam Roller
Focus on pushing it back and working those scapular muscles. You can continue with that isometric into the foam roller overhead.
Everyone varies on how high they can go before rotating their shoulder to open up. You’ll probably notice that bringing your arm out to the side will be fine to a certain point. You then need to add some rotation to have things open up in the shoulder and get your arm overhead.
Re-Test the Exercise
You have to go through those isometrics. After those three exercises, re-test to see how that floor wall slide feels. Once again, the number of steps you will be doing depends on the point you can put your hand against the ground.
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Rick Kaselj, MS
Lastly, if you are looking for a solution to help you overcome your shoulder pain, check out the Shoulder Pain Solved system. It is a program that helps thousands of people worldwide overcome their shoulder pain from home or in the gym.