I get it. You'd rather be benching, squatting, or curling some heavy-ass weights – the fun stuff. But the fun stuff will come to a screeching halt if you neglect your mobility work. Use it or lose it, right?
Mobility is your joints' ability to actively travel through their intended ranges of motion. Think of it as "flexibility with control." But you don't need to do every mobility drill under the sun to get more mobile. Just pick a few good ones that you'll do consistently.
Most lifters are excessively internally rotated in the upper body. They're hunched over their computers and add salt to the wound by doing as many bench presses and curls as they can.
Limited shoulder mobility – in addition to exercises that exacerbate internal rotation – leads to injury, decreased strength, chronic neck tension/pain, low-back pain, forward head posture, and other bad stuff. Avoid all that by doing this simple and effective drill during warm-ups:
Shoulder CARs (Controlled Articular Rotations)
Your shoulder is a ball and socket joint similar to your hip. It needs to do a lot of shit (flexion, extension, abduction, adduction, internal and external rotation).
This is one of the most effective drills you can do to increase your shoulder's range of motion. It comes from FRC (Functional Range Conditioning), so be sure to check out their stuff.
- Tense up your body, not like you're about to do a max effort deadlift, but like you're bracing yourself against a big gust of wind. This creates stiffness in the torso and awareness in the shoulder. By rooting your body to the ground and eliminating any potential turning or cheating, you're able to focus entirely on the shoulder joint.
- Do 5-10 reps as part of your warm-up. If you already have good shoulder mobility, you'll need fewer reps. If your mobility sucks, you'll need more.
- Do it daily. When it comes to mobility improvement, you've gotta get those reps in.