The Best Manual Techniques to Improve Overhead Mobility

By djpope

February 8, 2018

assessment, correction, cupping, exercises, IASTM, Lat, manual techniques, manual therapy, massage, mobility, mobilization, overhead, overhead mobility, pec, physical therapy, physiotherapy, Shoulder, shoulder mobility, Shoulder Pain, soft tissue, Stretching

Shoulder mobility is going to be very important for all exercises performed overhead.  If you want to be performing movements like push jerks, snatches and pull-ups properly then you’ll want to be able to put your arms overhead fully.

I’ve been writing about overhead mobility for years.  However, one thing I haven’t done so far is show you what manual techniques I utilize to get my athletes back to full overhead mobility.  There are multiple areas where limitations in shoulder mobility can come from.  The major ones that come to mind are:

  • The thoracic spine and ribs
  • The shoulder blade
  • The shoulder capsule
  • The surrounding shoulder musculature

One of the largest culprits for restricted motion are the muscles surrounding the shoulder.  The major muscle groups that tend to restrict this motion are:

  1. The Latissimus Dorsi (lats)
  2. Teres Major
  3. The Pectorals (major and minor)
  4. Subscapularis

Soft tissue treatments to these muscles can be a very effective way of restoring normal range of motion to the shoulder.  I like to use a variety of soft tissue techniques including cupping, manual massage, instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM) and pin and stretch techniques.  I’ve made a video below showing my favorite techniques to help improve upon overhead mobility limitations.  Check it out below:

So there you have it, my favorite shoulder manual techniques to improve overhead mobility.  Just make sure that after you apply these techniques you send your athlete home with a solid mobility home program to reinforce these changes.

This video is part of a 1+ hour long video webinar series on how to throughly assess and correct overhead mobility limitations.  We go over how to figure out which area the mobility limitation is coming from:

  • The thoracic spine and ribs
  • The shoulder blade
  • The shoulder capsule
  • The surrounding shoulder musculature

Then we go over my favorite manual techniques to improve each area.  After that I teach you how to reinforce that range of motion for long term gains and lastly how to create an evidence based mobility program to allow your athletes to continue to make progress over time.  You can find this video series by subscribing to my “Insiders” Online Mentoring Program:

Insiders is an entire rehabilitation library designed to help you with the most common injuries seen in the gym and how to get back to high levels of performance after getting hurt.  I designed the program for coaches, athletes and health care providers who are tired of the traditional advice from doctor’s to stop doing what you love.  I want to show you how to get back.

Click Here to Learn More About Insiders

Reach overhead like a boss,

Dan Pope DPT, OCS, CSCS, CF L1