“Fix Your Shoulders”

Fix Your Shoulders

This program is designed to assist with your normal strength programming by stabilizing your scapulas and putting your shoulders in the optimal position to receive weight overhead and support your body in a handstand.  With a combination of mobilizations for the Thoracic spine, stabilization exercises for the scapulas, and rotator cuff strengthening to help build strong, mobile, and durable shoulders.

These exercises are to be performed on your own before the coach warms up the class or in your cool down but consistency is the key.  Whether you have shoulder pain now or you are trying to prevent shoulder problems in the future be honest with yourself and put in the work 3-4 times a week. Consider this a 4 week cycle and at that point you will know what the biggest deficit is with your shoulder function. This program can be tweaked and adjusted for continuous use so whether you think of it as pre-hab for your shoulders or rehab from an old injury this program will improve your performance with overhead activities.

It is difficult to program a general routine for one of the most mobile and complicated joints in the body that can address a specific problem, having said that, as you perform this program find the exercises in the routines that are most challenging for you so you can keep them in your personal routine for long term shoulder health.

There are 2 routines and each one has a different priority. Together they will address the 3 biggest problems that contribute to shoulder pain and dysfunction; thoracic spine mobility/stability, scapular stability, and Glenohumeral joint motor control. Thoracic spine mobility is necessary to get your scapulae in a stable position and with stability at the scapulae the necessary forces can be transferred into the glenohumeral (shoulder) joint.

The level of everyone’s shoulder function will be different at the start of this program and everyone will start it for different reasons so it is difficult to measure your shoulder function initially.  You will know that this program is helping your shoulder function because you will see your overhead strength and stability improve and your shoulders will be pain free.  Work hard, be consistent, and in time your shoulder function will improve.


Perform each cycle 3-4 times a week (every other day) for at least a week to see what exercises give you the best results or feel like they are emphasizing your problems. Then you can focus on those exercises with a more custom program for you. Below is a lay out of sets and reps for each routine’s exercises:

Overview & Intro Video

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Routine 1

T-spine Extension on foam roller/T-spine extension over peanut- 2-3 times at each joint segment up then back down spine (Watch the Video)

Sidelying T-spine rotations- 3 x 15 per side (Watch the Video)

Xiapeng Shoulder rotations- 3 x 10/direction with 1-10 lbs, fluid, pain free motion is more important than weight (Watch the Video)

Child’s pose with overhead extension- 1-2 times with a 30second to 2 minute hold (Watch the Video)

Banded bilateral external rotation 3-5 sets of 10 with yellow or red band (Watch the Video)

Wall slides- 2-3 sets of 5-10 reps with 10 second hold at your tightest point with each rep (Watch the Video)

Routine 2 Full Video

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Routine 2

Supinated grip passive hang- accumulate 60 seconds of time (Watch the Video)

Supinated banded flexion stretch (archer stretch)- total time per side is 1-2 minutes, with 5 sec contract and 10 relax periods (Watch the Video)

Hanging Shoulder rolls- 3 x 5 per direction (Watch the Video)

Facing Away Banded Y-T-A circles- 1 x 10 per direction with 10 second hold at the end range on last rep of each set (Watch the Video)

Banded Y-T-A  activations- 3-5 sets of 10 reps (Watch the Video)

Banded 90/90 IR/ER- 3-5 sets x 10 reps each direction (Watch the Video)