Today wraps up our series on Activation. Our philosophy revolves around preparing the body for movement by turning on the muscles that control body position at the hips (see Sparta Point), trunk (see Sparta Point), and shoulders. The integration, coordination and control of these body segments are the foundation for understanding and optimizing each athlete’s movement signatureTM.
Understanding Shoulder FunctionIf you are doing focused stretching and strengthening without first addressing body position, you are wasting your time (see Sparta Point). So focusing on body position, Activation, is one of the first keys to preventing the “creep” that occurs from repetitive movements of sport and daily life. “Creep” negatively affects body position and efficiency, and thus movement signaturesTM. Wall Slides are the foundational prescription for learning and activating the correct upper body positioning, specifically “unsticking” the thoracic spine, scapulae, and shoulders.
- Thoracic Spine: many athletes are stuck in a flexed or rounded (kyphotic) t-spine position as a result of their daily activities and the repetitive demands of their sport. Wall slides reset the extended (neutral) spinal position.
- Scapulae: many athletes are stuck in an anteriorly / upwardly rotated (winging) scapular position. Wall slides teach and Activate the muscles that control the retracted and depressed scapular position. They also reinforce the upward glide that should accompany shoulder range of motion.
- Shoulder: many athletes are stuck in an internally rotated shoulder position. Wall slides train the externally rotated position while moving through full range of motion.
How to Perform Wall Slides
- Set up in a squat position with tailbone, shoulders, and head against the wall
- Lock ribcage in place (prevent hyper-extension) and reach arms into a tall “Y” position
- Pull elbows down so that the arms form a “W” position
- Keep wrists flat, and maintain pressure back against the wall