Shoulder Stability-Mobility Series - I, Y, T, W Formations

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Shoulder Stability-Mobility Series - I, Y, T, W Formations


Target Body Part:
Shoulders

Equipment Needed:
No Equipment

Step 1

Starting Position: Lie flat on your back on the floor / mat with your knees bent and feet placed flat on the floor. Place your arms next to your sides with the elbows straight and palms facing in. Brace your abdominal muscles to stabilize your spine. Pull your shoulder blades back and down without moving your torso. Hold these engagements throughout the exercise.

 

Step 2

"I" Formation: Gently exhale. Slowly bring your arms along the mat to an overhead position. Your arms are pointing to the wall behind you. Keep your elbows straight and shoulders pulled down. Do not allow the back to arch. Continue to move your arms overhead until your thumbs touch the floor overhead, or until you reach the point of tension. Do not bounce or push. You should not feel pain. If you have limited flexibility, the shoulders will tend to shrug and the back will begin to arch. If this occurs, you have gone beyond your end-range for this exercise. Hold this position for 15 - 30 seconds and return to starting position. Perform 2 - 4 repetitions.

 

Step 3

"Y" Formation: From the same starting position, gently exhale and slowly slide your arms along the mat into a "Y" position as illustrated. Keep your elbows straight and shoulders pulled down. Do not allow the back to arch. Continue to move your arms to the "Y" shape until your thumbs touch the floor, or until you reach the point of tension. Do not bounce or push. You should not feel pain. Hold this position for 15 - 30 seconds then relax and return to your starting position. Perform 2 - 4 repetitions.

 

Step 4

"T" Formation: From the same starting position, gently exhale and slowly bring your hands toward the ceiling until vertical with the floor, then open your arms to your sides form a "T", as illustrated. Keep your elbows straight and shoulders pulled down. Do not allow the back to arch. Continue to move your arms to the "T" shape until you're the backs of your hands touch the floor, or until you reach the point of tension. Do not bounce or push. You should not feel pain. Hold this position for 15 - 30 seconds then relax and return to your starting position. Perform 2 - 4 repetitions.

 

Step 5

"W" Formation and Wipers: From the same starting position, bend your elbows and turn out your arms until the back of your forearms touch, or come close to touching the floor, forming the letter "W", as illustrated. Keeping the shoulder blades pulled down, do not allow the back to arch. Gently exhale and slowly glide your arms along the floor until your hands touch overhead. Keep your elbows bent through the entire movement or until you reach the point of tension. Do not bounce or push. You should not feel pain. Hold both the "W" and overhead positions for 10 - 15 seconds. From the overhead position then slide your arms back to "W". Perform 2 - 4 repetitions. This exercise is sometimes called "Snow Angels".

Exercise Variation: This stretch can become more dynamic by performing slow, controlled movements to complete 1 set of 5 - 10 repetitions in each formation, holding the end position for 1 - 2 seconds.

EXERCISE TIP: To maximize the benefits of a stretch and reduce the potential for injury, it is often important to stretch only to the point of tension, avoid bouncing and control movement at other segments of the body. During this stretch, attempt to keep your shoulders pulling down and avoid arching in your low back.

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