I wanted to go through a great exercise that you can do for your shoulders.
This exercise will help lubricate the shoulder joint, loosen it up, dynamically stretch the joint, and work the stabilizing muscles in the shoulder. The exercise is called Head Circles. You will need a medicine ball, a dumbbell, a kettlebell, or other weight for this exercise. Depending on how strong your shoulders are, you may want a heavier or lighter weight. If using a weight is too much for your shoulders, you can use something light or even go through the movement without a weight.
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I had Donnalee demonstrate the exercise.
Hold the ball in front of you. Move the ball to one side. Then bring the ball behind your head and let it hang a little bit so it stretches your shoulders. Next, move to the other side.
Head Circles to the right
This is a four-step exercise. You don’t want to do the exercise this slowly but we will break it down and go through it slowly one more time.
- Place the ball out to the front, holding it close to your body. Move out to the side, working on that shoulder with almost full flexion. With the elbow tucked in, we are working on the stabilizers in the shoulder. And with the arm above, we are working with the stabilizers.
- Bring the ball behind your head. You are dynamically stretching the shoulder, working the mid-back muscles and the shoulder blade muscles, and stretching out the lats.
- Move to the other side. You are activating the lats, the scapular muscles, and the shoulder blade muscles, working on dynamically stretching that shoulder.
- Return back out front to the starting position. Move-in the opposite direction as well.
Head Circles to the left
You can do this a number of times. Start off with the four steps or break it down into four steps. Once you are comfortable with the four steps, try to bring those four steps together into a fluid movement.
You can do this exercise with a medicine ball, a dumbbell, a kettlebell, or anything from your home that has a little bit of weight. Make sure you are doing the exercise in both directions because it targets the shoulder, mid-back, and scapular muscles in different ways.
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Rick Kaselj, MS
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