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Better Shoulder Flexibility Without Stretching

sandbag exercises

Jessica Bento, Physical Therapist (Creator of DVRT Restoration, Pelvic Control, Shoulder Restoration)

This past weekend I went back home to visit my family in Michigan. It can been several years since I had gone back, but with my parents having some health issues, I knew it was something to make time for. My mom had been through a lot with TWO shoulder replacement in surgeries in the same arm! As a physical therapist I wasn’t thrilled about her getting the first one, but as we all know, family can be the most challenging to help. She was definitely surprised how bad her pain, movement, and overall shoulder flexibility was after the surgeries.

Don’t get me wrong, she had been working with a physical therapist for the past few years, but very little has changed. Sadly, even many physical therapists are using outdated methods in helping people get better faster. That’s why we believe what we do with DVRT is perfect for those in fitness, strength and conditioning, and yes, rehab!

In order to see how powerful our DVRT ideas can be, I wanted to use my mom as a case study. She isn’t the best patient and her strength has gotten very bad. However, in ten minutes of going over some DVRT drills with our Core USB, this was her change. More improvements in her shoulder flexibility than she had in years!

shoulder flexibility

So, the point is to share with you how I was able to make such an improvement in shoulder flexibility with someone in such a bad situation. Let me explain how I was able to make rapid changes with understanding functional movement.

No More Isolation

I did it, in fact for many years. Whether it was external rotational exercises, wall slides, serratus anterior work, I did it all. When I look back though I realize how ineffective I was because I didn’t realize that shoulder issues are rarely a factor of the shoulder alone.

shoulder flexibility

Work by therapists like Thomas Myers shows that the connection of the shoulder is a bit more complicated than most people even realize. The above diagram shows a few interesting facts, one of the largest is the way that our grip is a big part of our shoulder flexibility and strength. Using the grip in very specific ways allows us to use the shoulder better by integrating the lats and the core as well. One of our fundamental ways of doing so is through some of our DVRT Press Out concepts.

Most people misunderstand the Press Out as the name is a bit misleading. The idea isn’t pushing the weight out, but rather pushing the body down to engage the glutes and core while pulling apart the Ultimate Sandbag to brace the core from the top down. This is an awesome core exercise, but how does this apply to being a power shoulder flexibility and strength drill.

That is due to the “proximal stability for distal mobility” concept we have discussed so many times through our blogs. However, I know that this may be the first blog for many. So quickly, the more stable our core becomes the “permission” our body gives to have better mobility in the hips and shoulders. Why does that work? Our body is always trying to protect itself and if it perceives instability then it will shut down range of motion to protect itself. Once we provide that stability the nervous system allow better movement.

Allowing us to accomplish the Press Out opens the door to using it multiple mediums to integrate more of the body and develop even greater levels of stability. This is largely how we worked with Josh early after his spinal surgeries to reconnect his body! In fact, once we understand these concepts we can transform even popular therapy drills like the Pallof Press to achieve even more for the shoulders, but the entire body too!

You will notice in DVRT drills like Josh demonstrates we keep the same theme of grip, ground, and bracing by connecting lats/core/ and glutes together. When people implement such drills as part of their warm-up, they are shocked at how much stronger they feel, but the greater shoulder flexibility they possess as well.

Massage therapist, Jennifer Simons, who loves yoga and is always looking for ways to help your own mobility while working long hours on clients felt the same impact with using these concepts. For her, thoracic mobility was always an issue, but within one unusual DVRT exercise she saw some pretty amazing improvements.

shoulder flexbility

What are some of the ways we are using DVRT to make bodies move so much better so fast? Remember, it isn’t a magic trick and it isn’t just by using an Ultimate Sandbag. It is how we take the science of how the body moves and use it to create connections in the body that results in this awesome improvements. A great example is the little details I lay out in a simple, but powerhouse exercise below.

One of the keys is integrating the hips with the shoulder. Based on the understanding the connections of the body, the hips work so closely with the hips. Especially the opposite hip and shoulder. Stabilizing the hip while engaging the core and grip makes a series of drills the best ways to improve overall body mobility quickly!

We want to share these concepts with as many people as possible as pain plagues so many people. It doesn’t have to be that way and if health professionals want to help people be better, we have to understand how the body works and use it in specific ways in the exercises and programs we create.

Don’t miss our DVRT Online Restoration Course for 30% off with the launch of our new site with coupon code “site” HERE. If you love learning hands-on, you will not want to let the last DVRT educational programs of the year get away. Check them out HERE.