I’ve had a couple of guys come in to Raw Strength this week complaining of shoulder pain, either during or immediately after an upper body exercise. What I’ve noticed is that with almost every bit of shoulder pain, internal rotation is an issue.
To test your internal rotation, stand up and touch your hands behind your back as shown in the pic below.
You probably won’t be able to touch your hands, but it doesn’t matter too much, what I want you to notice is the bottom hand, and how far you can get it up your back. One side will probably be tighter than the other and won’t get as far up your back.
This is due to a lack of internal rotation and can cause impingement and pain at the shoulder joint. A simple strategy to help sort this out is to use the sleeper stretch, which you can see in this video from the OLD SCHOOL storage unit that I first ran the gym from! Worth a look just to see how far we’ve come!
To help you get a better stretch lie on your side and ensure that your shoulder blades are pulled together, your elbow is bent 90 degrees and pointing straight forwards away from your body. Tense your armpit so the elbow stays low near your ribs, this will help you get a greater stretch.
There is a very limited range of motion in this exercise so be careful!
Keep testing your internal rotation with the ‘behind the back’ test, and soon you will reach further up your back with both hands and have a better level of internal rotation at the shoulder. This means less pain and much healthier shoulder joints!
Any comments or questions just drop them below!