It is possible to stretch your shoulders without pain, pinching, or compromising the strength and integrity of the shoulder joint. This range of motions is necessary for a whole host of activities that require you to bring your arms overhead including weight lifting, handstands, aerial arts, yoga, and contortion… and just getting a plate off a high shelf! Pinching or pain in the shoulder joint is often caused by sub-optimal shoulder alignment. When the bones aren’t in the right place you can create compression in the shoulder socket which can, over

Tight shoulders restrict athletic performance and our daily activities. A key aspect of upper body health is to have full shoulder flexion, meaning you’re easily able to lift your arms straight up over your without arching your back. If you are interested in contortion, handstands, or advanced yoga poses you will want even more range, building the ablility to move your arms behind your ears with strength and good form. There are a number of different structural and muscular factors that can restrict mobility here including the ability of the scapulae

When I received my MRI back from the doctor’s office it just said “rotator cuff tear”. What a tease! There are four rotator cuff muscles in the shoulder and each of them does a different, vitally important role. Even medical professionals tend to lump them together into one poorly-defined category. But the better you know each one and can strengthen them with precision, the easier it will be to keep your shoulders happy and healthy. The rotator cuff muscles are responsible for the rotational qualities of your arm bone in your shoulder

When I first injured my right shoulder in 2010 I joined the ranks of circus performers, acrobats, dancers, and athletes with shoulder injuries. I was bummed out, but far from alone. It is one of the most common sites for pain and injury for anyone who engages in vigorous upper body activities from aerial arts to lifting groceries out of the trunk. And it’s no wonder. Shoulders are a complicated piece of equipment and, even though most of us have them, they didn’t come with an instruction manual. When I started

The swim through splits (not sure where this term originates, I may have made it up but I don’t think so), are a beautiful transitional movement requiring advanced hip flexibility, strength, and control. I love this transition which can quickly and dramatically take you from sitting on your rump to laying on your belly and, with a little more effort, back again. Below please enjoy a tutorial that breaks this movement down into stages, demonstrating the swim through both with and without assistance from the arms. I only recommend this tutorial to