10 Dolphin Pushups
10 Side Plank Swings (R)
10 Side Plank Swings (L)
Range of motion throughout the shoulders varies drastically and may seem like an impossible thing to improve. Two things that are generally good for shoulder mobility and integrity is extension and compression. Extension means literally hanging… but not just dumping into the hang. You’ll have to keep your chin tucked (double chin style), your scapula depressed, core engaged, and grip firm. This is a bit more of a difficult position to get into than one of compression, i.e. planks.
The Dolphin pushup has been an extraordinary exercise for me in the rebuilding of my right shoulder/pec/bicep tendon. To sum it up, I had a rowing injury that tends to get aggravated depending on how much I’m rowing on the same side of the boat. I’ve learned to switch sides and I’ve learned to train my scapula to move better (along with soft tissue work on my Pec major & minor and biceps tendon). I know it sounds like a lot, but it’s not going to take care of itself and I have no intention of slowing down… so, diligent I am.
What the dolphin pushup does (when done correctly) is that it provides compression through the plank and it keeps your elbows and shoulders in their ‘track’ as you extend your hips tall to the ceiling – driving your elbows into the floor (more compression) and allowing the scapula to rotate slightly for the extension. The key is to keep the elbows narrow and use the core to help raise the hips.
There’s also a correlation between hip stability and shoulder integrity. This is evident within the running community. Sort of a double whammy for those of us who run & row. It just means we have to be stronger and more conscious of our movements.
The side plank with leg swing is a nice challenge for the hips, core, and of course the shoulders. A nice compliment to the dolphin pushup for a great shoulder, hips & core challenge.