Improving Shoulder Internal Rotation

Improving Shoulder Internal Rotation

1: Supine Breathing: Repositioning the ribs with breathing drills should be the starting point when looking to improve shoulder internal rotation. Depression and internal rotation of the ribs does wonders for restoring length-tension relationships around the humerus. Cue the athlete to breathe in the nose and out the mouth for a full exhalation. You can help to cue the position by lightly guiding their ribs down and in during the exhalation phase. 20 breaths at the beginning of the mobility session is a great starting prescription.

2: Posterior Shoulder Rolling: Often, I find an excessive amount of tone in the posterior/lateral aspect of the shoulder, specifically in the infraspinatus, teres, lat group. As an LMT I‘ll often apply some manual work to these structures but if you don’t have manual skills using a roller or lacrosse ball can work well here.

3: Active Sleeper Stretch: This stretch is learned in Andreo Spina’s FRC course is a great tool to begin creating real plastic change in the rate limiting tissues behind the shoulder. At IR end range contract upwards into EXTERNAL rotation for 1 minute. Follow this by sinking deeper into the stretch and actively INTERNALLY rotating for at least 1 minute. I generally do this for 3-5 rounds. Be sure to to avoid the anterior humeral glide by pinning the posterior shoulder to the ground.

4: Side-Lying Loaded Shoulder IR: I really enjoy using this exercise to develop closed chain motor control following stretching. The position requires you to stabilize the humerus in an abducted position while actively pursuing end range internal rotation. Similar to the last exercise be sure to not let the shoulder roll forward which is why I keep my hand on the shoulder to self-cue the position. Go slow and drive the hand down into the valslide through out the drill.

5: Exercises with Internal Rotation: The most simple but commonly forgotten piece of the internal rotation puzzle is regularly accessing loaded shoulder internal rotation during training. For shoulder internal rotation that means working in and out of IR during things like row, chin-ups, hanging and TGU’s.