Cueing the Core to Enhance Shoulder Elevation
For today’s post, I wanted to show a video of a correction I performed on a recent patient during his shoulder program exercises to engage his core and improve his ability to elevate his arms. Many people are hyperlordotic. Combine this with stiffness in some of the glenohumeral muscles (like the teres major) and the thoracic spine, and you often see people compensate during arm elevation by hyperextending the lumbar spine.
Here is a quick video showing how someone may hyperextend the spine with simple arm elevation exercises, such as a full can exercises, and how cueing them to engage their core corrects the movement. By cueing the core, this will allow the shoulders and scapulae to full engage and begin to upwardly rotate, instead of just elevating and letting the lumbar spine allow the rest of movement.
Look for this in your impingement patients too, as this may be part of the faulty movement pattern that is associated with their superior humeral head migration.
Many people will want to perform an abdominal crunch, but there should be no lumbar spine flexion. Rather, simply engage the core and not allow lumbar extension from it’s neutral starting position. Needless to say, you will have to follow up on this with some ant-extension exercises in general, but this is a great cue to integrate into your shoulder exercises.