I know for myself I have developed many different shoulder problems and the more I talk to other skier many have suffered rotator cuff surgeries and/or bicep tears. This sport demands us to have incredible range of motion and strong shoulders at the same time. The amount of torque that our bodies go through while holding not the most natural position. We start to develop a lot of asymmetries and a lock up T-spine (mid-back). Resulting in a hypo-mobile lower back and causing chronic back pain. Here are some exercises I have discovered from working with my Physical Therapist Christopher Johnson to help address these issues.
Most of these exercises are performed in a ½ kneeling position but all can be performed in full kneeling position (aka tall kneeling) standing or split stance. I recommend working from the ground up with ½ kneel or full kneel then to standing positions. Click on the link below for the video.
- Reach the same arm as leg that is down, palm up, back arm palm facing down
- Looking at your palm, rotate and look at back while hand switching positions
- If you were to think of doing the splits with your upper body this would be it
- Repeat 5 “ish”reps and 1-2 sets
Benefits: Shoulder stretch, and T-spine rotation, (increase your reach for the going around the buoys)
- Using a small Kettlebell, grab on the horns (side handles) have it bottom up
- Lift your left hand to the right side of your head, then to the back of your head so that the kettlebell is bottoms down. Let the right hand follow “naturally”
- Allow the Kettlebell to trace a Halo around your head; trace it one direction then the opposite direction right after.
- Repeat 3 “ish” reps 1-2 set; one direction then the opposite equals one rep
Benefits: T-spine mobility, Core activation, corrects any asymmetries
Bottom Up Single Arm Rotation
- Start with Kettlebell in the same hand as leg that is down. Make sure you have a good balance of the bell first
- Rotate and reach as far as you can without loosing balance while opening up shoulder
- Repeat 3 “ish” reps 1-2 set
Benefits: T-spine rotation, Core activation, grip strength, shoulder mobility and strength
Enjoy and let me know how it helps with your skiing
Ski you later