With fitness coaching, you always have to be educating yourself on the latest methods that are proven to work. However, there’s so much over produced technology…it blinds simplicity. You do not need fancy technological tools that claim to cure pain (like overrated massage guns that cost hundreds). From someone who has had a dislocated shoulder and torn pec (from my early days in football) — rehabbing a chronic injury takes actual thought. Physical Therapist Grey Cook states, “are you moving poorly because you are in pain, or are you in pain because you are moving poorly?” My personal injures believe it or not teach me what my body is supposed to doing throughout the ENTIRE day. I will never believe an injury will absolve itself by sitting on my butt and taking prescription painkillers…all because an idiotic doctor told me too.
Shoulder pain is something that always comes up when coaching any athlete or average Joe. So it’s my job to constantly to learn and demonstrate the best methods. It is the very reason why I want to use Stick Mobility as prime example of how simple and yet genius these drills are to improve shoulder function in your daily life. Stick Mobility doesn’t just sell these sticks that can bend and root into the ground better than any other typical dowel, but offer an incredible source of educated content with them. I attended their coaching certification last year, and was blown away how their system applied exactly to kettlebells, steel maces and clubs. Don’t let the word “mobility” fool you; there’s more so a revelation of how much stability is needed for these drills to attain full range of motion. So here are FOUR drills you can easily integrate into your warm up routine whether you’re a power lifter doing bench press, or a martial artist grappling for the day.
Stick Mobility Pendulums & Kayaking
What I love about this complex is we’re truly utilizing the shoulder’s ball & socket joint in a 3-D motion with pendulum motions going left to right, diagonally (chopping), and rotationally with the kayak (in BOTH directions). You will need a stick that fits best to your wing span so you can grab both ends and then actively press into so the shoulders get down & back with a long neck to prevent any shoulder impingement. Perform each one for 30 seconds at medium pace.
Stick Mobility Shoulder Dislocates
I usually cringe when I see most do these because the arms should NOT bend to compensate for the range of motion. This also causes the shoulders to dump forward with the neck (creating an opposite effect of impingement). The key is to keep your arms locked out like you’re “breaking the stick half” with both palms down (externally rotating the elbow pits out). Once creating stability in the shoulder girdle, slowly raise the stick overhead and let the index & thumb naturally stay connected to it as the other fingers release going further back (death gripping will only restrict this range). Perform a range of motion best suited for you…don’t force it. I can go back & forth in full range in this demo because I practiced it with consistency.
Stick Mobility Arm Bar
This is inspired from the kettlebell arm bar and yet is completely opposite biomechanically. When performing the kettlebell arm bar, the goal is to keep it in alignment with your lat (creating tactical feedback) as your thoracic spine and iliac crest of your hip rotates toward the floor lying down. The stick arm bar however, creates a prying effect as you press it into the the wall and gives a great stretch across your pectoral area. Before a workout, I like to roll back & forth into this position so my hip and lumbar also get the prying effect as well. If you hold this position…do it after your workout.
Stick Mobility Ninja Flow
The Ninja Flow position is what really interested me about Stick Mobility when I first saw it online over a year ago. As stated in the intro, what makes these sticks better is their rubber ends root with solid friction against any typical gym flooring or concrete. Doing this Ninja Flow drill with PVC pipe or a wooden dowel will more so dangerously slip off the ground when shifting side to side as you see in the demo. Creating stability and pressing the stick into the ground makes your body feel like it’s a sail because it’s properly anchored to a solid base of support. To get properly set up in this Ninja Flow position — take notice where I place and grab the stick as I smoothly side lunge in alignment with it: