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Monday Move: Know Your Shoulder

Posted By Darrell Smith, Monday, April 17, 2017

Happy Monday!  

Let’s all take a deep breath. On your exhale, think about where your shoulders are. How close are they to your ears? Do they feel pinched together? Try to draw them a few inches further away from (1) your ears and (2) each other. This is called shoulder retraction and depression. Improper rotator cuff tracking (aka shoulders not being in their sockets) leads to chronic shoulder pain  - and is a contributor to acute injury when reaching for objects on the job.  

Prevent Shoulder Impingement by knowing where your shoulders are by performing a few simple stretches every day.  

(1) Chest opener, wide wingspan - this will help open the pectoral muscles, which can pull the shoulders forward and impinge them
(2) Head tipping, ear to shoulder - this stretches the upper trapezius muscle, which often becomes overactive and contributes to weak shoulders 
(3) Side bending, one arm overhead - this helps create length in the latissimus dorsi, the longest back muscle and an important mover when going overhead

Health and Safety Drill Tip: When performing warmups, always cue workers to roll shoulders backward and downward. You don’t want your shoulder to roll forward when doing the warm up activity.  

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