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Day 5 – Shoulders

Eliminate Discomfort and Pain.


BeginnerIntermediateAdvanced
Beginner
Video Transcript
Hey guys, what’s up? Its Dean, welcome back to your free intro to Man Flow Yoga, today is day five, shoulders. So we’re going to be working on shoulder mobility and upper back strength today, so just like all the other lessons, I’m going to start off talking about the importance of shoulder mobility and upper back strength, I’m going to tell you the problems that most of us face with this I’m going to give you the exercises to address it and then give you a plan so you can continue working on it moving forward. So first off the importance of shoulder mobility and upper back strength most of us want a big chest most of us want to build shoulder muscles but what we don’t know is that we have to take care of the shoulders and we have to have the proper mobility in the shoulders in order to do that, we also need to have balance in our upper body so in addition to strengthening the chest we need to strengthen the opposite side of the body, strengthen the upper back and this is a theme you’ll find throughout yoga throughout what I’m going to teach you with Man Flow Yoga, so in order to work on that we need to make sure that we are specifically focusing on shoulder mobility so doing exercises that promote being able to reach our arms all the way back instead of having to arch our back to get our arms straight up and we need to do exercises that specifically focus on the upper back. If we do all pushing exercises right so if we do a lot of pushups and not enough pulling or not enough reaching back with the arms not enough cobra exercises just not enough with the upper back that’s going to result in a unbalance and so when that happens we have shoulder pain, it hurts to lift our arm over head like this or maybe it doesn’t hurt a lot but it’s just like an annoyance or it’s discomfort when you’re working out and then you get through it and the next day it hurts again and so this is your body telling you that something’s wrong it’s not a normal part of exercise. Unfortunately it is a normal part of exercise for a lot of people because we just don’t know any better, I can speak from experience that I didn’t know what I was doing wrong, I just knew that I had this pain in my shoulders when I was working out and it was until I started learning more about yoga and learning more about mobility that I realized I had a serious issue in my shoulders and that I needed to do something about it quickly or that I might face even surgery, definitely injuries, definitely a pain but surgery could have happened as well if I had not done these exercises that I’m about to show you.

So I’m going to give you three of my favorite exercises for working on shoulder mobility and upper back strength. As we’re going through the exercises, I’m going to explain why these poses in particular are so effective, I’m going to give you different modifications based on your level, so whether you’re beginner intermediate or advanced and then I’ll give you an exercise plan of moving forward so that you can continue to work on these but I do want to mention even though these exercises are very beneficial, you will notice a difference in your shoulders you will notice a difference in how anything you do with your upper body feels these are only part of the picture, so in order to really get the benefits of improved shoulder mobility, of functional shoulders, of flexible shoulders and the strong upper back we need to do more exercises than just these three, so keep that in mind as we’re going through the intro and just part of it and it will help but we also need to work on this on a consistent basis and continually explore movement, continue to challenge your body in new ways.

All right so let’s get into this we have three exercises today, we’re going to be focusing on a strap behind the back stretch, we’re going to be doing a standing side stretch and we’re also going to be doing a down dogs as well, as different variations depending on your skill level. So let’s jump into it this is the beginner’s portion so if you feel that this is too easy, go to intermediate, this is a great place to start when working on shoulder mobility and back strength, especially if you haven’t focused on it before.

But let’s go here first and see how this goes and then change as needed, so I’m going to show you again those three exercises and the first one is the strap behind the back, so you need a strap or a belt or a towel or T-shirt for this any of those things will work fine. So I’m going to have the strap about shoulder width distant and then for intermediate, I’m going to see if you can bring that about hip width distance apart, now your goal here is to get the elbows squeezing back almost like you’re going to touch your elbows toward one another, now as you’re doing this you know it just for visual representation. So you guys can see what I’m actually doing here now as you’re doing this you want to have again notice some of the shoulders right now are rounded forward I want to get them back and down storm, so i’m pulling the shoulder blades together opening the chest trying to touch my elbows toward one another and then from here reaching down while pulling my chest up through my arms, so this is getting my chest into a nice open position, this is engaging the muscles in my upper back and this is going to work on your shoulder mobility which is heavily influenced by your pictorials. So if you don’t have stretch if you don’t have flexibility in your pecks then you are not going to have good shoulder mobility. So from here this is the intermediate version I’m going to have you bend your knees a little bit, squeeze your legs toward one another, keep the elbows wrapping back in the palms are facing forward make sure that your hands are not facing back and then from here just add a little forward fold and so when I work I’m pulling the chest forward and squeezing your arms away from your back so I’m lifting, I’m lifting my hands away from the back, keeping my abs tight, pushing the shoulders down away from the ears that are not up here like this but I’m pushing them down and away from the ears and then slowly bringing the strap higher away from my back, pushing the shoulders even further back away from the ears and then keeping my chest going forward so this is the stretch I’m going to hold and this might get uncomfortable but you’re going to have to hold it so the way that we get more flexible the way that we build more mobility just like strength we push through discomfort, we hold it we keep going of course there is a differentiation between discomfort and pain, discomfort is just something that we don’t want to do, pain is something that our body says no definitely don’t do this so the discomfort we can work through. Again keeping the hands away from the back, keep squeezing the arms in opposite directions, grip on to whatever you’re holding whether it’s a belt or a strap tightly and keep the shoulders pressing down away from the ears, go ahead and come back up and then release so that’s the first exercise, that’s the strap behind the back and I’m going to hold that for a minute and do that twice a day. So every day to work on your shoulder mobility hold that one that might be the most important exercise for your shoulder mobility.
All right second one is going to be standing side stretch, arms overhead so for intermediate I’m going to have you get your feet a little bit wider, so feet or about let’s say hip width or maybe shoulder width apart, not hip width, shoulder width apart and then I’m going to have you bring your arms up, get the strap out of the way and then if you can’t get your arms of all the way without your chest ballooning open like this right we don’t want to have this arching through the chest, bend your elbows a little bit that way we can have the ribs drawn in have good posture and not arch the back and then from there you can extend the arms up depending on your mobility just like the last one we’re going to pull the strap in opposite directions. You want to wrap the biceps to face back just a little bit and then breathe in and then exhale leaning toward the right now the whole left side of my body is going to tighten here, I’m not just pushing my hips out and staying in active in my left side, I’m tightening my left oblique, I’m tightening my abs, and I’m getting as tall as I can before I increase my depth, so I’m getting tall on the inhale and I’m getting deeper on the exhale and this one I want to hold for thirty to sixty seconds, sixty seconds is difficult but you can definitely do it, so I’m pushing down to my feet and keep my head pressing up keeping the biceps wrapping back this is the intermediate so I want you to keep your palms facing one another and then again pressing down through both feet keeping the courts keep the left side of my body tight, staying tall and then getting deeper with the exhales, go ahead bring the back to the middle, if you need a little break take a little break if not just straight back up and the other side breathe in, exhale other side, pressing down to both feet, my legs are active here, so I’m squeezing my legs together I’m tightening the glutes a little bit squeezing my abs squeezing the right side of my body and when I squeeze that right side of my body that’s going to help me get a better stretch to the side here I’m still pressing my arms up still pulling the strap in opposite directions. And still working on getting taller and then deeper. So this theme is ever present in yoga it’s the getting the longer and then getting deeper, so we always want to have length before we have depth, go and bring that back to the middle, so again that one hundred hold for a minimum of thirty seconds, work your way up to forty five seconds even up to sixty seconds and that one I would do twice a day as well that is great for doing during the day especially if your lower back is tight because you’re being sitting or because you’re not leaning from side to side or bending enough and it’s great for the morning to help you stretch to help you wake up your body and improve your energy levels, so twice a day that one as well.

The next exercise is the down dog but we’re going to start with down dog on your knees, for intermediate, going to get the right technique first and then if you feel like you want to go to the advanced version for the full on down dog, so for down dog on your knees we’re going to line up your knees about hip width distant and then your feet ankles lined up parallel with the knees, we’re going to bring the arms out in front of you, tighten the abs. Arms are in front of you shoulder width distant squeeze your hands toward one another turn the biceps to face up to notice I’m wrapping the arms here and my forehead might touch the ground it might not and I’m going to push my hips back tighten the abs, squeeze the arms toward one another and work on holding this position. Now notice where my shoulders are they’re not in front of my body like this they’re not way over here they’re not way in front of my chest they’re on either side of my chest they’re helping to frame my chest. So that’s what I want to do and down dog, I don’t want to have my shoulders in front of my chest, they’re on either side of my torso and also more position toward the back so they’re not in the front, they’re not down here like this because that’s going to put the weight of my interior deltoid right here I want to have the shoulders back like so now I have the lats engaged to hold my weight there. So this one we’re going to hold for thirty seconds, minimum and probably sixty seconds this is just intermediate but you should feel a lot of stretching to the shoulders you should feel lots of engagement through the shoulders make sure you’re squeezing your arms toward one another make sure you’re really pressing down into the ball mounds of her fingers, so particularly I’m pushing down into my index finger and my thumb and then almost screwing my hand to the ground so just like you would open a jar and pressing the hand down and then screwing my arms outward and that’s going to cause that wrap to the arms to the biceps to face up and that’s going to help me plug my shoulders into my back as opposed to my shoulders being an incorrect position and then that leading to just improper shoulder technique, so again this is a down dog knees down. All right go and come out of that, so you can work on that for the sixty seconds that is wonderful to do at the beginning the day and then also at the middle and even at the end of the day.

So those are three exercises, now I’ve included some exercises in or some workouts below that work that help you work on these concepts a little bit more so you get access to those just sign up for the seven day pass one dollar and then they’ll be able to access any of those workouts just quick below, once you’ve logged in and be able to check out those workouts focused on improving your shoulder mobility and intermediate level. Again I do want to point out that these are exercises that will help with shoulder mobility, they will help with addressing issues related to shoulder discomfort from exercise or just day to day pain or discomfort you’re having in your shoulders, pain is an indication from your body that something is wrong so if you’re having pain your shoulders whether it’s when you’re just sitting somewhere or if it’s during exercise there is an issue and most times this issue is related to, it’s related to a lack of shoulder mobility so we can’t get our arms straight enough overhead or we can’t get our arms back behind us like so or we lack upper back strength we don’t have the strength in our shoulders to counter the excessive chest work that we do right and by excessive chest work I could be referring to doing pushups or doing bench press but you can also be just bad posture so if you’re standing during the day like this or if you’re sitting in rounding forward look at your shoulders are look how far they are forward. This isn’t good for you we have to have better posture we have to have the shoulders pulling back in order to work on that so I guess it’s fitting that tomorrow’s lesson is postures, so you’ll be able to work on that a little bit more I hope you were able to get something out of today’s lesson on shoulder mobility if you are finding this free intro beneficial please share it with your friends, it is a free intro, we want as many people as possible to see this so that we can tell people what they need to know about their shoulders so they can stay healthy, so they can avoid injury and avoid surgery and even if you don’t sign up please continue to work on your shoulder mobility, this will help you in the long run this will help you to continue to exercise to do what you want to do without pain in your shoulders and when you have bad shoulders you can’t do, you can’t do much can’t lift your arms overhead, you can’t reach up and grab something out of the shelf, every movement with your arms just becomes something you dread. So please continue to work on your shoulder mobility, you’ve got a plan from me those three exercises thirty to sixty seconds each and then also those other workouts that you can continue to work on your shoulder mobility on available in the members area. Thanks again for joining me that’s all I’ve got for today I’ll see you tomorrow for the next lesson.

Intermediate
Video Transcript
Hey guys, what’s up? Its Dean, welcome back to your free intro to Man Flow Yoga, today is day five; shoulders. So we’re going to be working on shoulder mobility and upper back strength today, so just like all the other lessons, I’m going to start off talking about the importance of shoulder mobility and upper back strength, I’m going to tell you the problems that most of us face with this I’m going to give you the exercises to address it and then give you a plan so you can continue working on it moving forward. So first off the importance of shoulder mobility and upper back strength most of us want a big chest most of us want to build shoulder muscles but what we don’t know is that we have to take care of the shoulders and we have to have the proper mobility in the shoulders in order to do that, we also need to have balance in our upper body so in addition to strengthening the chest we need to strengthen the opposite side of the body, strengthen the upper back and this is a theme you’ll find throughout yoga throughout what I’m going to teach you with Man Flow Yoga, so in order to work on that we need to make sure that we are specifically focusing on shoulder mobility so doing exercises that promote being able to reach our arms all the way back instead of having to arch our back to get our arms straight up and we need to do exercises that specifically focus on the upper back. If we do all pushing exercises right so if we do a lot of pushups and not enough pulling or not enough reaching back with the arms not enough cobra exercises just not enough with the upper back that’s going to result in a unbalance and so when that happens we have shoulder pain, it hurts to lift our arm over head like this or maybe it doesn’t hurt a lot but it’s just like an annoyance or it’s discomfort when you’re working out and then you get through it and the next day it hurts again and so this is your body telling you that something’s wrong it’s not a normal part of exercise. Unfortunately it is a normal part of exercise for a lot of people because we just don’t know any better, I can speak from experience that I didn’t know what I was doing wrong, I just knew that I had this pain in my shoulders when I was working out and it was until I started learning more about yoga and learning more about mobility that I realized I had a serious issue in my shoulders and that I needed to do something about it quickly or that I might face even surgery, definitely injuries, definitely a pain but surgery could have happened as well if I had not done these exercises that I’m about to show you.

So I’m going to give you three of my favorite exercises for working on shoulder mobility and upper back strength. As we’re going through the exercises, I’m going to explain why these poses in particular are so effective, I’m going to give you different modifications based on your level, so whether you’re beginner intermediate or advanced and then I’ll give you an exercise plan of moving forward so that you can continue to work on these but I do want to mention even though these exercises are very beneficial, you will notice a difference in your shoulders you will notice a difference in how anything you do with your upper body feels these are only part of the picture, so in order to really get the benefits of improved shoulder mobility, of functional shoulders, of flexible shoulders and the strong upper back we need to do more exercises than just these three, so keep that in mind as we’re going through the intro and just part of it and it will help but we also need to work on this on a consistent basis and continually explore movement, continue to challenge your body in new ways.

All right so let’s get into this we have three exercises today, we’re going to be focusing on a strap behind the back stretch, we’re going to be doing a standing side stretch and we’re also going to be doing a down dogs as well, as different variations depending on your skill level. So let’s jump into it this is the beginner’s portion so if you feel that this is too easy, go to intermediate, this is a great place to start when working on shoulder mobility and back strength, especially if you haven’t focused on it before. 04:37

let’s go here first and see how this goes and then change as needed, so I’m going to show you again those three exercises and the first one is the strap behind the back, so you need a strap or a belt or a towel or T-shirt for this any of those things will work fine. So I’m going to have the strap about shoulder width distant and then for intermediate, I’m going to see if you can bring that about hip width distance apart, now your goal here is to get the elbows squeezing back almost like you’re going to touch your elbows toward one another, now as you’re doing this you know it just for visual representation. So you guys can see what I’m actually doing here now as you’re doing this you want to have again notice some of the shoulders right now are rounded forward I want to get them back and down storm, so i’m pulling the shoulder blades together opening the chest trying to touch my elbows toward one another and then from here reaching down while pulling my chest up through my arms, so this is getting my chest into a nice open position, this is engaging the muscles in my upper back and this is going to work on your shoulder mobility which is heavily influenced by your pictorials. So if you don’t have stretch if you don’t have flexibility in your pecks then you are not going to have good shoulder mobility. So from here this is the intermediate version I’m going to have you bend your knees a little bit, squeeze your legs toward one another, keep the elbows wrapping back in the palms are facing forward make sure that your hands are not facing back and then from here just add a little forward fold and so when I work I’m pulling the chest forward and squeezing your arms away from your back so I’m lifting, I’m lifting my hands away from the back, keeping my abs tight, pushing the shoulders down away from the ears that are not up here like this but I’m pushing them down and away from the ears and then slowly bringing the strap higher away from my back, pushing the shoulders even further back away from the ears and then keeping my chest going forward so this is the stretch I’m going to hold and this might get uncomfortable but you’re going to have to hold it so the way that we get more flexible the way that we build more mobility just like strength we push through discomfort, we hold it we keep going of course there is a differentiation between discomfort and pain, discomfort is just something that we don’t want to do, pain is something that our body says no definitely don’t do this so the discomfort we can work through. Again keeping the hands away from the back, keep squeezing the arms in opposite directions, grip on to whatever you’re holding whether it’s a belt or a strap tightly and keep the shoulders pressing down away from the ears, go ahead and come back up and then release so that’s the first exercise, that’s the strap behind the back and I’m going to hold that for a minute and do that twice a day. So every day to work on your shoulder mobility hold that one that might be the most important exercise for your shoulder mobility.
All right second one is going to be standing side stretch, arms overhead so for intermediate I’m going to have you get your feet a little bit wider, so feet or about let’s say hip width or maybe shoulder width apart, not hip width, shoulder width apart and then I’m going to have you bring your arms up, get the strap out of the way and then if you can’t get your arms of all the way without your chest ballooning open like this right we don’t want to have this arching through the chest, bend your elbows a little bit that way we can have the ribs drawn in have good posture and not arch the back and then from there you can extend the arms up depending on your mobility just like the last one we’re going to pull the strap in opposite directions. You want to wrap the biceps to face back just a little bit and then breathe in and then exhale leaning toward the right now the whole left side of my body is going to tighten here, I’m not just pushing my hips out and staying in active in my left side, I’m tightening my left oblique, I’m tightening my abs, and I’m getting as tall as I can before I increase my depth, so I’m getting tall on the inhale and I’m getting deeper on the exhale and this one I want to hold for thirty to sixty seconds, sixty seconds is difficult but you can definitely do it, so I’m pushing down to my feet and keep my head pressing up keeping the biceps wrapping back this is the intermediate so I want you to keep your palms facing one another and then again pressing down through both feet keeping the courts keep the left side of my body tight, staying tall and then getting deeper with the exhales, go ahead bring the back to the middle, if you need a little break take a little break if not just straight back up and the other side breathe in, exhale other side, pressing down to both feet, my legs are active here, so I’m squeezing my legs together I’m tightening the glutes a little bit squeezing my abs squeezing the right side of my body and when I squeeze that right side of my body that’s going to help me get a better stretch to the side here I’m still pressing my arms up still pulling the strap in opposite directions. And still working on getting taller and then deeper. So this theme is ever present in yoga it’s the getting the longer and then getting deeper, so we always want to have length before we have depth, go and bring that back to the middle, so again that one hundred hold for a minimum of thirty seconds, work your way up to forty five seconds even up to sixty seconds and that one I would do twice a day as well that is great for doing during the day especially if your lower back is tight because you’re being sitting or because you’re not leaning from side to side or bending enough and it’s great for the morning to help you stretch to help you wake up your body and improve your energy levels, so twice a day that one as well.

The next exercise is the down dog but we’re going to start with down dog on your knees, for intermediate, going to get the right technique first and then if you feel like you want to go to the advanced version for the full on down dog, so for down dog on your knees we’re going to line up your knees about hip width distant and then your feet ankles lined up parallel with the knees, we’re going to bring the arms out in front of you, tighten the abs. Arms are in front of you shoulder width distant squeeze your hands toward one another turn the biceps to face up to notice I’m wrapping the arms here and my forehead might touch the ground it might not and I’m going to push my hips back tighten the abs, squeeze the arms toward one another and work on holding this position. Now notice where my shoulders are they’re not in front of my body like this they’re not way over here they’re not way in front of my chest they’re on either side of my chest they’re helping to frame my chest. So that’s what I want to do and down dog, I don’t want to have my shoulders in front of my chest, they’re on either side of my torso and also more position toward the back so they’re not in the front, they’re not down here like this because that’s going to put the weight of my interior deltoid right here I want to have the shoulders back like so now I have the lats engaged to hold my weight there. So this one we’re going to hold for thirty seconds, minimum and probably sixty seconds this is just intermediate but you should feel a lot of stretching to the shoulders you should feel lots of engagement through the shoulders make sure you’re squeezing your arms toward one another make sure you’re really pressing down into the ball mounds of her fingers, so particularly I’m pushing down into my index finger and my thumb and then almost screwing my hand to the ground so just like you would open a jar and pressing the hand down and then screwing my arms outward and that’s going to cause that wrap to the arms to the biceps to face up and that’s going to help me plug my shoulders into my back as opposed to my shoulders being an incorrect position and then that leading to just improper shoulder technique, so again this is a down dog knees down. All right go and come out of that, so you can work on that for the sixty seconds that is wonderful to do at the beginning the day and then also at the middle and even at the end of the day.

So those are three exercises, now I’ve included some exercises in or some workouts below that work that help you work on these concepts a little bit more so you get access to those just sign up for the seven day pass one dollar and then they’ll be able to access any of those workouts just quick below, once you’ve logged in and be able to check out those workouts focused on improving your shoulder mobility and intermediate level. Again I do want to point out that these are exercises that will help with shoulder mobility, they will help with addressing issues related to shoulder discomfort from exercise or just day to day pain or discomfort you’re having in your shoulders, pain is an indication from your body that something is wrong so if you’re having pain your shoulders whether it’s when you’re just sitting somewhere or if it’s during exercise there is an issue and most times this issue is related to, it’s related to a lack of shoulder mobility so we can’t get our arms straight enough overhead or we can’t get our arms back behind us like so or we lack upper back strength we don’t have the strength in our shoulders to counter the excessive chest work that we do right and by excessive chest work I could be referring to doing pushups or doing bench press but you can also be just bad posture so if you’re standing during the day like this or if you’re sitting in rounding forward look at your shoulders are look how far they are forward. This isn’t good for you we have to have better posture we have to have the shoulders pulling back in order to work on that so I guess it’s fitting that tomorrow’s lesson is postures, so you’ll be able to work on that a little bit more I hope you were able to get something out of today’s lesson on shoulder mobility if you are finding this free intro beneficial please share it with your friends, it is a free intro, we want as many people as possible to see this so that we can tell people what they need to know about their shoulders so they can stay healthy, so they can avoid injury and avoid surgery and even if you don’t sign up please continue to work on your shoulder mobility, this will help you in the long run this will help you to continue to exercise to do what you want to do without pain in your shoulders and when you have bad shoulders you can’t do, you can’t do much can’t lift your arms overhead, you can’t reach up and grab something out of the shelf, every movement with your arms just becomes something you dread. So please continue to work on your shoulder mobility, you’ve got a plan from me those three exercises thirty to sixty seconds each and then also those other workouts that you can continue to work on your shoulder mobility on available in the members area. Thanks again for joining me that’s all I’ve got for today I’ll see you tomorrow for the next lesson.

Advanced
Video Transcript
Hey guys, what’s up? Its Dean, welcome back to your free intro to Man Flow Yoga. Today is day five, shoulders. So we’re going to be working on shoulder mobility and upper back strength today, so just like all the other lessons I’m going to start off talking about the importance of shoulder mobility and upper back strength, I’m going to tell you the problems that most of us face with this, I’m going to give you the exercises to address it and then give you a plan so you can continue working on it moving forward. So first off the importance of shoulder mobility and upper back strength, most of us want a big chest most of us want to build shoulder muscles but what we don’t know is that we have to take care of the shoulders and we have to have the proper mobility in the shoulders in order to do that we also need to have balance in our upper body so in addition to strengthening the chest, we need to strengthen the opposite side of the body, we need strengthen the upper back and this is a theme you’ll find throughout yoga, throughout what I’m going to teach you with Man Flow Yoga. So in order to work on that, we need to make sure that we are specifically focusing on shoulder mobility, so doing exercises that promote being able to reach our arms all the way back instead of having to arch our back to get our arms straight up and we need to do exercises that specifically focus on the upper back, if we do all pushing exercises right so if we do a lot of pushups and not enough pulling or not enough reaching back with the arms, not enough cobra exercises, just not enough with the upper back that’s going to result in on and balance and so when that happens we have shoulder pain, it hurts to lift our arm over head like this or maybe it doesn’t hurt a lot but it’s just like an annoyance or it’s discomfort when you’re working out and then you get through it and the next day it hurts again and so this is your body telling you that something’s wrong it’s not a normal part of exercise, Unfortunately it is a normal part of exercise for a lot of people because we just don’t know any better, I can speak from experience that I didn’t know what I was doing wrong, I just knew that I had this pain in my shoulders when I was working out and it was until I started learning more about yoga and learning more about mobility that I realized I had a serious issue in my shoulders and that I needed to do something about it quickly or that I might face even surgery, definitely injuries, definitely a pain but surgery could have happened as well if I had not done these exercises that I’m about to show you. So I’m going to give you three of my favorite exercises for working on shoulder mobility and upper back strength. As we’re going through the exercises, I’m going to explain why these poses in particular are so effective, I’m going to give you different modifications based on your level, so whether you’re beginner intermediate or advanced and then I’ll give you an exercise plan of moving forward so that you can continue to work on these but I do want to mention even though these exercises are very beneficial, you will notice a difference in your shoulders, you will notice a difference in how anything you do with your upper body feels these are only part of the picture so in order to really get the benefits of improved shoulder mobility, of functional shoulders, of flexible shoulders and the strong upper back, we need to do more exercises than just these three, so keep that in mind as we’re going through the intro and just part of it and it will help but we also need to work on this on a consistent basis and continually explore movement, continue to challenge your body in new ways.

All right so let’s get into this we have three exercises today, we’re going to be focusing on a strap behind the back stretch, we’re going to be doing a standing side stretch and we’re also going to be doing a down dog, as well as different variations depending on your skill level. So let’s jump into it, this is the advanced portion of shoulders, let’s get to it so I’ve got three exercises for you, the first one is going to be strap behind the back stretch so for the advance version we are going to start in a wide legged position and I’m going to show you one variation and then an advanced advanced position for you to work on so the first thing we want to do is make sure we have the right strap position so we’re going to hold the strap about hip width distant, with your palms facing your body and your shoulders pulling back, so the issue here that I see a lot is the shoulders don’t pull back, we have the shoulders rounded forward, so again we want to make sure that the shoulders are pulling back and I just want you to be able to see all of this, so the shoulders pull back, the elbow squeeze toward one another so the not here like this, in fact if I didn’t even have the strap there I’d be working like this to get into the good position, the strap is just a little tool little, little thing to help us get into, that so elbows squeeze toward one another the chest is big and open, the shoulders pull back and then from here I’m going to reach my hands down and think of pulling my chest up and through my arms. So I’m getting a big stretch to my chest now through the muscles surrounding my collarbone and now to add the advance variation to this, I’m going to get my feet wide like so, pushing to the outer edges of my feet tighten my thighs, squeezing my hips toward one another and then I’m in a swan dive forwards a pushing or pulling my chest forward, pressing the strap away from my away from my head, away from my shoulders, keep pulling the chest forward and then keep squeezing the strap away from your back and this is getting easy you can pull the strap a little bit closer together like so but just make sure that you have the just make sure that you have the shoulders back and you have the shoulders aren’t rounded forward and I’m continually pushing my shoulders back and squeezing my arms higher, my biceps face down, my elbows face back so this is the advance variation number one.

Now number two if that feels like if you feel like you can go deeper, we’re going to do this with no strap, so this for me takes a lot of warm-up but here we go. So again I’m going to interlace my fingers now instead squeezing my elbows toward one another and then pressing my hands down and then from here getting back in that same position, pressing the palms of the hands together, so notice that my hands are not like this I want to get the heels of my palms together to really pushing the other holding their and then maintaining that as I lift my hands away from my back and pull my chest forward, so I don’t want to just fold forward here like this I want to keep pulling my chest forward keep my abs tight, keep my hips tight, keep my legs engaged, keep my neck long, keep my chest long, and then just holding this, the longer you hold this, the deeper your body is going to work into it so we’re going to hold this for a minute minimum and just breathing and relaxing into it, making your breath as long as you can and then coming back up and then releasing. So it’s intense, it’s difficult but it is amazing for your shoulders that’s the first one strapping on the back or the fingers and always behind the back sixty seconds, I recommend doing that one twice a day, so you can do that mid day after you’ve been rounding your shoulders a lot and then maybe in the beginning of the day as well or at the end of the day, feel free to play around those times, figure out which one works best for you I would do once that sixty seconds all right let me catch my breath.

Next exercise is a standing side stretch so for this one I’m going to have you bring your feet about shoulder width distant and level one, we’ve got the arms overhead or sorry we’ve got the strap with the arms overhead, you can hold us about shoulder width distant again. We’re going to wrap the palms to face back like so the biceps wrap in me at my shoulders behind my body so if you look at me from the side my shoulders are not here like this I’m getting my shoulders back here like so and then think a big breath in here and then lean toward one direction now I’m going to tighten the left side of my body so notice that my oblique’s are tight, I’m not just leaving them out to dry and keeping them engaged and then keeping both legs engaged too, my hips are squeezing lightly toward one another as I inhale, I get taller as I exhale, I get deeper and this one I want to hold for thirty to sixty seconds, now if this is easy this is exactly what we didn’t intermediate you’re going to bring your hands together interlaced the fingers, point your index fingers and then work deeper into this like this so this is level three. This takes a little bit more mobility you’re going to get a better stretch in your shoulders though as a result just make sure that you can keep your shoulder somewhat down and that you don’t have to shove your shoulders way up here near your ears in order to get this stretch go and bring it back to the middle opposite side and by the way note on my foot positioning so when my feet are wider I can get deeper into this and I can utilize more core if the feet are closer together it’s a little bit easier I can’t get as deep into my side. Again interlace the fingers, wrap the biceps back extend your arms up breath and exhale toward the left tighten the whole right side of your body breathing up, exhaling deeper. So in this process of getting taller right getting more length and then getting deeper I want to pretend like I’m trying to get up and over something so I’m not just leaning into a wall it’s almost like I’m getting up and over a wall so I’m getting taller and then I’m getting deeper getting taller and then getting deeper and then holding it with control never pushing into my maximum range of motion immediately I’m just slowly breathing into it and that way I can get even deeper once I get to that maximum point go and bring it back to the middle with control and release your arms down. All right, so that’s the standing side stretch again we’re going to start at thirty seconds make our way up to sixty seconds, do that twice per day definitely in the morning maybe in the middle of the day, definitely in the in the morning and maybe in the middle of the day sixty seconds you can do it once or twice per day if you really want to do it at night go for it.

All right next exercise is the down dog and this is fantastic for your shoulders an intermediate we showed you down dog on the ground with your knees down and beginner we showed you it on the wall so this is going to move into full down dog now, we’re going to start with your knees on the ground in your feet lined up behind your knees hip with distant with your knees bring your arms out in front of you about shoulder at distant same as you would have for a plank and then I want you to get your shoulders on either side of your chest so notice how my shoulder blades pin into my back here, I’m not here with the down dog, I’m here. So my shoulders are pinned into my back, my shoulder blades are engaged and my biceps wrap forward so my biceps aren’t facing in like this, I’ve got external rotation open up my chest and get the triceps back on the biceps forward and then from here we’re going to squeeze the arms toward one another so almost as if I’m going to squish the mat up, I’m squeezing my arms toward one another and my forearms are really active here and I’m using my full body to do this, so now I’ve got a good position with my shoulders there in the right place there on either side of my torso, my abs are tight my knees, my feet are hip with distance so now I’m going to lift up the lift the knees and push the thighs back and my goal here is to make a nice V shape or a pyramid position with my body noticed that my abs are tight and not letting my back around like this I’m reaching my tailbone up and tightening my abs I’m also keep my arms firm here so I’m not letting my arms relax, I’m still squeezing my arms toward one another this is definitely not a rest pose, you have heard that before in yoga and I’m still squeezing my legs together too so everything is active here arms are locked out, arms squeezing toward one another, tailbone reaching up, hips pressing further back, hamstring stretching, I’ve got a lot going on my upper back my lats are stretching, my shoulders are stretching, my lower back and stretching, my calves are stretching basically the entire back side of my body is active here and I work on holding this for that first thirty seconds and then up to sixty seconds, go ahead in release. So sixty seconds is going to be difficult there mainly because we get lazy, we stop engaging the arms, we stop squeezing the arms toward one another so your challenge there is to get in that position but keep the muscle engagement going, keep squeezing your arms toward one another, keep the shoulders in good position, keep the abs tight, keep the thighs pressing back so that’s something to practice and that will bring fantastic benefits to your body, core strength, shoulder mobility, hip mobility, calf flexibility, and then lots of shoulder stability. So for that one minimum thirty seconds work her way up to sixty seconds do that at least once every day, I would say do that in the morning and then mid day if you want to do it at the end of a workout that’s also fantastic for that and it’s also good for warming up for a workout, so you’ve got a lot of options to include that.

Right now as far shoulder mobility goes I’m included some my favorite workouts some of the workouts I think you’ll find most beneficial especially because you’re watching the advanced portion of this in the links below so the workouts I’ve got there you can continue to work on your shoulder mobility, continue to learn more about how your shoulders work and make your upper body bulletproof, shoulders are the secret, healthy shoulders, mobile shoulders and a strong back, that’s the secret to having a good upper body, yeah we can do right, we can do pushups, we can do pull ups but if we don’t have that foundational upper back strength, that stability, and that mobility we’re not going to able to do the stuff for long eventually you’re going to get to the point where pushups hurt, where bench press hurts. So in order to keep being able to do that we need to take care of the shoulders and then more than that in the member’s area we also focus on mobility focused exercises using mobility tools, so we have things that look like lacrosse balls, two lacrosse balls basically tied together and also lacrosse balls just across balls themselves to work on releasing muscle knots, to work on addressing and changing myofacial release but actually changing the structure of our muscles, changing that fascia so that we undo all that lack of mobility that we’ve been experiencing for years or even decades and we can make our shoulders more mobile, increase the mobility so that we have more power so that we’re more resistant to injury and that’s just another aspect of shoulder mobility that is something you can work on with in the members area. So sign up now it’s just one dollar, seven days of access, it gets you unlimited access to the contents of the workout programs, the tutorials, those workouts I mentioned just below here and again to sign up just click the sign up button below hopefully you are getting to the point where you know this is something you want to do, this is something that you are noticing the benefits of and that’s what’s so cool about this it doesn’t take long to notice the benefits, you feel better immediately and as a result of that all of your other workouts get better at this is going to be your main workout, you’ll notice changes within just a couple of weeks in your body and again you’ll notice immediate changes in how you move and how you feel so that’s what’s so cool about yoga, that’s why I’m doing this because I like how my body feels when I do yoga, I like doing other stuff too but yoga allows me to do all of the other stuff. So again to get started one dollar seven-day trial, click sign up below. All right guys we got two lessons left in your free intro to Man Flow Yoga, I am psyched that you’ve been know so far that you’ve watched through these workouts, feel free to share this with a friend if you are benefiting from this these are free lessons we’d love for everyone to see them, we want people to know about how to take care of their bodies, about how to take care of their shoulders and ultimately to feel good, to be able to do what they want to do physically. So thanks again for joining me tomorrow is day six of your free intro and I will see you then.

This lesson covers

  • The importance of mobility in your shoulders and strength in your upper-back.
  • The best postures for strengthening your upper-body and improving mobility.
  • A plan to improve your upper-body fitness on a daily basis.

Poses

(7 poses, 3 difficulty variations)

  • Strap Behind Back Stretch
  • Strap Behind Back Stretch with Fold
  • Standing Side Stretch
  • Downdog on Wall
  • Downdog on Knees
  • Downdog
  • Wide Legged fold with Interlaced Fingers

View and download the free pdf pose guide here 


Recommended Workouts

You must be a member of the Man Flow Yoga Members’ Area in order to view.


Beginner WorkoutsIntermediate WorkoutsAdvanced Workouts

Shoulder Strength & Flexibility for BeginnersShoulder Strength & Flexibility for Beginners

Quick Thoracic Mobility WorkoutQuick Thoracic Mobility Workout

The Thoracic Mobility WorkoutThe Thoracic Mobility Workout

Block Lifts and Low PlanksBlock Lifts and Low Planks

The Thoracic Mobility WorkoutThe Thoracic Mobility Workout

Ultimate Shoulder Mobility WorkoutUltimate Shoulder Mobility Workout

Straps for ShouldersStraps for Shoulders

Chest, Back, Shoulders – DIFFICULTChest, Back, Shoulders – DIFFICULT

Mustang WorkoutMustang Workout

Strength, Stability, & Flexibility for HandstandsStrength, Stability, & Flexibility for Handstands



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