Turn and Tilt for Better Shoulder Mobility

 

Tightness in the upper back tends to create a lot of  problems. Turning the shoulders to hit a golf ball, a tennis shot, or even just to look behind the car when backing out of a spot becomes difficult to do. Shoulders and neck are jeopardized too because they work in synergy with the upper back during a variety of movements. The Turn and Tilt is one of my go-to exercises to improve upper back mobility and function.

Setup

Sit with your hips and knees at about 90 degrees and a foam roller between your knees and feet. If you don’t have a foam roller, a firm pillow will work instead. Bring your hands up behind your head with your elbows open. If you can’t get your shoulders into this position because of pain or tightness, cross your arms over and put your hands on your shoulders.

Execution

Start by rotating your shoulders in one direction until you reach a point where you feel resistance against your rotation. Take a deep breath, squeeze the roller with your knees, exhale and tilt your shoulders. Always tilt in the same direction as your rotation (rotate left, tilt left).

How much and how often

This mobility move can be done every day for one or two sets of 4-6 repetitions to each side. If you do exercises for your shoulders to improve your posture, try the Turn and Tilt right before you do them to improve your results.

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Michael Bento is an Advanced Trainer at the Clubs at Charles River Park. He holds a Masters degree in Human Movement and is certified by the National Academy of Sports Medicine as a Corrective Exercise Specialist and Performance Enhancement Specialist.

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