The 3 Categories for a Consistent Shoulder Warm-Up With Jordan Shallow

The shoulder joint is among the most flexible joints in the body. It is also highly susceptible to injuries. Thus, it’s advisable to incorporate shoulder mobility exercises before engaging in push workouts to maintain the health of the shoulder joints. 

Chiropractor and powerlifter Jordan Shallow was featured on the Mark Bell Super Training Gym’s YouTube channel, offering advice for shoulder warm-up routines. Shallow detailed strategies for creating an efficient structure to ensure brief but adequate warm-ups. Dive into his insights below:

[Related: The Best HIIT Exercise Bike Workout You Can Do to Burn Calories, + Tips From a Trainer]

Setting Up the Framework

Shallow recommends approaching shoulder workouts with a chemistry-inspired perspective. To illustrate his point, he draws an analogy to the Bohr atomic model, highlighting its nucleus, orbits, and valence electrons.

Many people look at the shoulder just like the ball-in-socket, like the glenohumeral joint, but it has a core to it, and all these valences.

Shallow identifies the thoracic spine (T-spine) and rib cage as core components in this model. He suggests categorizing shoulder warm-up exercises and breaking down shoulder mobility routines into three categories:

1. The Nucleus

Category one explicitly targets the thoracic spine or ribcage with its drills. Suitable exercises for the nucleus, encompassing the thoracic spine and ribcage, include “around the world” and thoracic spine extension drills. 

2. First Shell

The scapula, or shoulder blades, form the initial layer beyond the core. Shallow recommends exercises focusing on scapular retraction to enhance their function, such as band pull-aparts and face pulls.

Shallow advises incorporating drills that promote serratus anterior upward rotation to achieve balance, including serratus wall slides and push-ups. Exercises that bring the shoulder blades together contribute to downward rotation, enriching the training regimen.

3. Second Shell

The glenohumeral joints fall into category three, the “second shell.” Individuals in this category primarily struggle with internal or external rotation issues.

“The main challenges people face are related to internal or external rotation,” Shallow explains. “Essentially, they may have excessive or insufficient mobility in internal rotation, or similarly, too much or too little access to external rotation.” Therefore, Shallow recommends the [Isometric Y-W-I]s, cable external rotations, and kettlebell bottoms-up presses.

Purpose of the Framework

Shallow explains how his framework prevents exercise redundancy and allows for more customized and effective routines. They can also help identify and overcome sticking points to enhance shoulder mobility. 

Strategically using this framework to plan workouts, particularly for accessory exercise selection, focused on range of motion and rotation during warm-ups, can achieve superior results.

Choosing accessory exercises is a corrective measure. They provide a preparatory warm-up for subsequent sessions and minimize the need for more extensive warm-ups. 

Sample Shoulder Warmup Routine 

When selecting warm-up exercises for the three categories, Shallow suggests manageable movements that are easy to adjust, enhance flexibility, and eliminate redundancy.

Enhancing range of motion in the thoracic spine and rib cage lays the groundwork for optimal scapular positioning. This facilitates better movement in the glenohumeral joint to elevate training performance. Below are sample exercises for each category:

Category One — T-Spine Rotation: Around the worlds and modified kneeling prayer stretch enhance flexibility and motion.

Category Two — Shoulder Blades: Scapular pull-ups target downward retraction. Modified scapular push-ups focus on upward rotation for improved mobility.

Category Three — Glenohumeral Joints: Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) shoulder internal rotations are complemented by cable external rotations and kettlebell bottoms-up presses.

For an effective shoulder warm-up, choose movements that include flexion and extension of the thoracic spine, upward or downward rotation of the scapula, and internal or external rotation of the glenohumeral joint.

Featured image: @the_muscle_doc on Instagram

The post The 3 Categories for a Consistent Shoulder Warm-Up With Jordan Shallow appeared first on BarBend.


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