Today our spotlight is on the "Side Lying Shoulder and Thoracic Rotation" exercise. We were introduced to this move earlier this year at System of Strength, where Dr. Vogel teaches classes, and we have been using it ever since!
May people overlook the relationship between thoracic spine (upper back) mobility and shoulder range of motion. We often see impingement, tendonitis and other shoulder injuries in people who lack proper motion in the their thoracic spine.
If the upper back is restricted and rounded forward (as most of us are in our "computer postures"), the shoulder blade will not be able to achieve its desired positioning during shoulder movements. This lack of shoulder blade mobility puts unneeded stress on the shoulder and surround musculature which leads to the injuries previously mentioned.
The best way to prevent overuse injuries in the shoulder is to make sure you are focusing on mobility as much as you focus on stability and strength. The body is all about balance, and this movement is a great way to regain that balance between the shoulder and thoracic spine.
Keep an eye out for future Rehab and Range of Motion Spotlights!