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Active Mobilization and Re-Patterning

Active Mobilization and Re-Patterning To Improve Overhead Position and Shoulder Mechanics

In this video Chris Duffin and Brad Cox from Acumobility are at Titan Barbell in Medford, MA working on Strongman Semaj.  Semaj had sustained a right shoulder injury that has been negatively impacting his overhead mobility. During assessments, we found that he has poor internal rotation of the shoulder with limited overhead range of motion and restricted trap and pec muscles. Our goal is to provide some corrective strategies to improve end range of motion and stability in the shoulder girdle. We accomplish this through the following progression:

Active Mobilization of the Shoulder

  • Using our unique Vice Technique we start by placing an Acumobility Ball on a trigger point in the external rotators (i.e. back of shoulder) while at the same time applying compression from the opposite side in the subscap and lat muscles with the BoomStick. Complete 5 to 8 reps of internal and external rotation.
  • Applying the same Vice Technique we work both rhomboid and pec muscles. Place an Acumobility Ball on a trigger point at the top of the rhomboids, apply pressure using the BoomStick to a restricted area in the pec, and go through a press up motion at 45 degree angle from the body. Find two restricted areas in the pec and complete 5-8 press ups in each area.
  • An alternative method to release the pec muscle while preventing trap over recruitment is to use a banded distraction technique. Get into a tall kneeling position, place a band over the top of the shoulder and anchor it under the rack. Place an Acumobility ball in a trigger point in the pec muscle, press into the ball while going through internal and external rotation of the shoulder.

Stability Re-Patterning:

  • To cement in the mobility work that we just did Chris then cues Semaj through a series of DNS shoulder stability drills. This works to increase stability and connection through Semaj’s shoulder girdle.  One of the main goals was to activate his larger back muscles to create better stability and prevent him from over recruiting his Traps and Pecs.

One of the key takeaways from this video is the need to properly identify both the restrictive and stability problems that are affecting a specific pattern.  By addressing his mobility restrictions through an active mobilization approach incorporating the ‘VISE Technique’ we were able to work through the restricted tissue while at the same time beginning to address the underlying connection issue that were also present.

We heard from Semaj later that he was able to get through all of the overhead exercises in his competition with no pain and much better strength on that side.  This is a great example of sometimes how a nagging issue can be quickly improved through the correct approach.  Stay tuned for some more collaborative videos between Chris and I, and for more information on the VISE Technique sign up for Kabuki.ms

-Brad Cox (CEO/ Co-Founder ACUMOBILITY)

NOTE: Always consult a medical professional before beginning any exercise program. This is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition. If you have an active shoulder injury or feel pain while doing these exercises, immediately stop and consult a qualified medical professional.

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Chris Duffin squatted 800lbs EVERY DAY for 30 days straight to raise money and awareness for Special Olympics Oregon Powerlifting. Please donate!
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