In this video we will focus on the back of the shoulder, posterior deltoid, as well as some rotational aspects of the shoulder. Releasing tension in this area of our body will not only increase sport performance, but can improve daily function.
Equipment: two tennis or lacrosse balls. The tennis balls will be softer while the lacrosse balls will be a bit more intense.
1) Myofascial release
Lie on your back and place one ball on the back of each shoulder. Bend the elbows, reaching the hands towards the sky. Keeping the angle of the arm, begin to drop your hand down toward the floor and then raise them up and back towards your head. If you don’t feel enough, adjust your position or where each ball is on your shoulder. Also note that it’s normal for each shoulder to feel different levels of intensity. Stop, hold and breathe if you come across a knot. Let the shoulders be as heavy as possible and be soft in the face and jaw.
2) Wall Slides
Stand with your back and shoulders against a wall. Bend your elbows and draw them back to touch the wall. With a slightly engaged stomach to keep your low back from pulling away from the wall, lift your hands up to the sky as far as you can while keeping your spine flush against the wall the whole time. Return to bent elbows and repeat ten or so times, or until the movement becomes smoother.
3) Static stretches
Sitting as upright as possible, reach your right arm across your chest with your elbow slightly bent. Be sure to keep your shoulder stable by keeping the humerus in its socket. Maintain the stretch by lightly pressing your left hand into your right tricep. You should feel a nice stretch in the back of your shoulder. Remember your breath, and inhale deeply into the back of the shoulder. Hold your pose for two minutes then gently release and repeat on your left side.
This next stretch has two variations, one is sitting with your back against a wall while the other is laying on the ground. I will show you how to determine which you should try by evaluating your shoulder mobility. Once you decide, lay down or sit against the wall. Bring your right arm behind your back so it’s at the same level as your navel. If you have the mobility, slide your arm a little bit higher up your back. Continue to draw your right shoulder against the ground or wall. We will hold here for two minutes, but if you need more time I encourage you to pause the video. When you’re ready to come out of the stretch, slightly raise your hips to release your hand. Before switching sides, evaluate the mobility on your left side and decide if the wall or floor is best. Asymmetry is completely normal, so know you don’t have to take the same option for both sides.
Work hard, find softness. MacKenzie Miller will leave you feeling as if you have flirted with gravity and laughed with the divine. Students are instantaneously transported away from the hustle of their daily lives, allowing their mat to be an arena reserved for cultivating inner peace.
MacKenzie is a certified personal trainer and yoga instructor. Her teaching combines thorough understanding of alignment and anatomy with the joy of balance and movement. She engages deeply with her students and her classes are thoughtfully sequenced, creating a safe space to have fun and explore, work hard yet find softness.
No aspect of the modern practice experience is left untouched. All will leave energized, grinning and humming at the end.