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Welcome to this six-week series brought to you exclusively by Whole Life Challenge in partnership with Movement Vault. Each week, Dr. Grayson Wickham (physical therapist) will guide you through a new mobility routine. These practices are simply one of the many ways you can accomplish your daily mobility, and are intended to help you explore both your body’s potential and the world of movement.
Today’s Movement Vault flexibility and mobility routine focuses on your shoulders, thoracic spine (upper back), and wrists. If you are reading this, there is a strong chance you spend a lot of time at your computer or staring down at your phone. Being in this position for prolonged time periods leads to a rounded upper back, as well as tight and rounded shoulders.
One of the big culprits causing your shoulders to be rounded are the pectoralis (pec) muscles, specifically the pec minor. When these muscles are tight, they pull your shoulders forward into a rounded position. This can lead to bad posture, poor positions in your lifts, and even pain and injury. This video will help you open the front of your shoulders, helping with strength-training movements including: push-ups, bench press, overhead press, dips, handstands, and snatches, to name a few.
And we can’t forget about your wrists. Again due to computer time, your wrists can get tight and painful. So, we will address the wrists in this mobility routine as well.
Movement Vault Mobility Follow-Along: Shoulders, T-spine, and Wrists
- Padded mat
We’ll start with a stretch and activation movement to open your chest and shoulders. The key with this move is to stretch your pec muscles first, then activate (contract) them. Stretching the muscle first and then activating is the most effective way to increase mobility. This movement has two parts and we will perform 3 reps per side.
Next, we’ll do an activation move for the thoracic spine. Focus on trying to slowly peel your chest off the ground as your activate all the muscles up and down your spine. Perform 5 reps.
Finally, we’ll finish with an activation movement that focuses on bringing your wrist through its absolute full range of motion and activating all the muscles around the wrist. We will perform 5 circles per direction, per wrist.