Shoulder Exercises

Simple Shoulder Pain Test and Solution

Today I have a simple test for shoulder pain and dysfunction with a potential solution that has helped others who have had similar issues.

Below is a simple test you can do at home to assess for shoulder pathology. This is called a horizontal impingement test, often used in physical therapy clinics. The test is assessing for healthy joint movement. If there is pain or pinching involved, this is a positive test and may warrant further examination from a trusted healthcare provider.

If this test is positive, chances are you have difficulty reaching overhead, across and behind your body.

Below is a simple solution that has often cleared up this test and improved people's shoulder on numerous occasions. The rotator cuff, in particular the backside (posterior) of the shoulder consists of three muscles that tend to hold a lot of tension and contribute to a lot of movement related issues of the shoulder. They are the supraspinatus, infraspinatus, and teres minor. In addition to these three, the long head of the triceps can at times be involved as well. Here is a simple activity you can do at home to start addressing these soft tissue limitations.

Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Sports Specialist Physical Therapy Clinic| Ann Arbor, Mi | FREE Discovery Session|

About the Author: Dr. Greg Schaible is a physical therapist and strength coach specializing in athletic performance. He attended The University of Findlay as a student athlete. As an athlete he competed in both Indoor and Outdoor Track & Field where he earned honors as a 5x Division II All-American and 6x Division II Academic All-American. In 2013 he completed Graduate School earning his Doctorate of Physical Therapy (DPT). Greg is the owner of On Track Physical Therapy in Ann Arbor, Mi. Follow On Track PT and Performance on Facebook.

Anterior Plank - Not just an exercise for your abs

The Plank is often thought to be a core exercise. However, I'm here to tell you that there are other unforeseen benefits of the plank that you may not have considered before.

First we need to talk about what a good plank looks like. A good plank will show a nice straight line from your head to your tailbone. This line should be parallel with the floor. You should be actively reaching through both elbows pushing your chest away from the ground. Hold this position as you take a breath in through your nose and out through your mouth. When you breathe in through the nose your should feel your upper back expand. When you exhale, you should feel your abs turn on.

When performed in this fashion, here are some added benefits and applications you may have never considered before.

Shoulder - Reaching through your arms (elbows in this case) stimulates the serratus anterior which is needed for shoulder health. Reaching + Breathing creates an optimal relationship between the scapula and rib cage. All the while your rotator cuff muscle are firing in an isometric fashion.

Shoulder Rehab - this is an excellent way to start introducing closed chain activity for the upper extremity at a lower level to work scapula thoracic relationship.

Youth Sports Training - Obviously its a good exercise to gain core control, we know that. But many youth athletes struggle mightily with a pushup. 1) Due to lack of core strength/endurance to maintain a neutral spine position. 2) Lack of shoulder strength/stability. Performing a plank correctly can stimulate both of these components as you simultaneously work relative strength with a dumbell floor press.