I’ll often prescribe yoga to an athlete who needs a lot of fundamental strength and stability and balance work. Yoga is great for establishing this foundation of movement.
Yoga is also great when I want to work on re-establishing normal movement of a motion segment. It’s great for re-establishing psycho-motor control of the body as well as somatosensory control of the body. And it’s great for fundamental performance.
(Conversely, yoga is NOT great for power, acceleration mechanics or improving multi-directional movement.)
So with that in mind, if you’re looking for a drill to regain mobility in the shoulder and cervical thoracic junction, check out this video. (A transcription is below.)
Those who know me know I am in yoga mode right now and I love giving my athletes different types of yoga movements in order to help improve their mobility.
What I’m going to have the ladies demonstrate is an upward and downward facing dog that’s really going to help build some strength and get some mobility in that upper back.
Ladies, if you will, go ahead and find a plank position for me. Before you lower, I’m going to have you make sure you tighten up that belly. Make sure you’re in a nice, neutral spine.
On an exhale, you’re going to go ahead and lower yourself toward the ground, just hovering. On an inhale, I want you to bring your chest forward.
The head is going to stay straight ahead. I want their eyes straight ahead. They’re pushing down into the ground. The belly is not sagging. We’re not having any swayback.
They’ll then go ahead and push themselves right into a downward facing dog and really kind of stretch out that mid-back. What I’m looking for in this position is a lot of nice thoracic extension, really having them stretch out the upper back area.
Go ahead and repeat that one more time, ladies. On an exhale, lower. On an inhale, go ahead and bring that chest through.
They really have to depress the scapula here, so we’re reciprocally inhibiting this upper trapezius.
The head, again, is straight forward. A nice neutral spine there, getting some extension in that mid-back, and pressing back to a downward facing dog, trying to get some end-range mobility in that shoulder.
Go More In-Depth with this 58-minute DVD Training Session from Sue Falsone
Having spent six years working with professional baseball players at the L.A. Dodgers, and 13 working with elite athletes across a range of sports at EXOS (formerly Athletes Performance), Sue Falsone has developed a wealth of knowledge and experience in treating issues in and around the shoulder and neck.
And it’s this wealth of knowledge and experience in treating the cervical thoracic junction that she shares in The Cervical Thoracic Junction: The Missing Link In Relieving Shoulder Tension & Neck Pain.
What you’ll find in Sue’s lecture are prevention and treatment strategies based on her own experience working with high caliber athletes. These are strategies that can be used effectively with people across all populations.
This 58-minute DVD lecture covers:
- The anatomy of the cervical thoracic junction: Build a strong foundation for treatment and prevention by understanding this complex region of the body
- Simple, practical exercises you can do with clients to restore mobility and function in the cervical thoracic junction
- Preventing tension from building up in the shoulders and neck in the first place
- Breathing strategies to mobilize certain areas of the body
Whether you’re a manual therapist trying to gain practical tools to help restore this area of the body and relieve your client’s pain and soreness – or a fitness professional wanting to learn more about this area so you can identify possible issues in your clients and refer out to your network of professionals – you’ll find Sue Falsone’s The Cervical Thoracic Junction: The Missing Link In Relieving Shoulder Tension & Neck Pain a valuable addition to your professional library. Most of all, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge and tools necessary to start freeing people from pain and soreness in their shoulders and neck.
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