Mobility and recovery expert Kelly Starrett has a lot of unique ways to improve a client’s range of motion and flexibility without traditional static stretching. By using some basic principles of physical therapy coupled with around-the-house objects, Starrett takes a few athletes at CrossFit Santa Cruz through a series of two-minute drills aimed at improving their performance.
In Part 6, Starrett explains that an anterior shoulder position is very common and can cause mechanical problems. One of the ways to address this problem is to get the shoulder back in the socket, which you can do by lying down and using your opposite arm to put gentle pressure into the shoulder capsule through a raised elbow. Essentially, it’s mobilization in a position of restriction, and it might increase both your range of motion and your performance.
If you want to take things further, you can use a kettlebell held above your body as it would be in the very first stages of a Turkish get-up. Hold that position for two minutes per side, and you might find some new liberty in your shoulder. If you want to go “Level 5 ninja” and take things further still, put a lacrosse ball under your shoulder, bite your lip, elevate the kettlebell and get down to serious business.
For daily mobility drills, visit Starrett’s MobilityWod.
Additional reading: Your Form Sucks by Dr. John Zimmer, published May 22, 2010.