How good is YOUR shoulder mobility?

Fig. 1: 2012 Olympic gold medalist aleksey torokhtiy works with robert blackwell

Fig. 1: 2012 Olympic gold medalist aleksey torokhtiy works with robert blackwell

Most people lack sufficient internal and external rotation to truly execute overhead movements effectively. especially among the athletes with longer levers, it's critical that athletes possess good internal shoulder rotation. Here is a drill that we incorporated into The Barbell WOD to address these mobility concerns. 

Aleksey Torokhtiy is pictured left (fig. 1) working with California Strength athlete Robert Blackwell to to develop sufficient internal rotation in a clean grip Sotts press from the front rack. While working to achieve these positiotions it's helpful to have a partner to help you to pull your body into the correct positions. In addition to the partner stretching techniques, employing the static stretch (fig. 2) to free up lats and rhomboids that can help with developing internal/external rotation in the shoulder. 

To perform a correct Clean Grip Sotts Press:

Fig 2: Static stretch demonstration to build internal/external rotation in shoulders

Fig 2: Static stretch demonstration to build internal/external rotation in shoulders

  • Start with grip with that you can overhead squat easily.
  • Once you're in the OHS squat position work to build mobility in that motion.
  • Slowly move the grip in, approximately one finger width at a time until you arrive at your clean grip.

We recommend you do this exercise on recovery days when focusing on creating additional levels of flexibility.  We've programmed this movement into the current mesocycle of The Barbell WOD as an added emphasis on shoulder mobility.

Keep in mind that shoulder mobility is integral to successful completion of any overhead movement. Continuous application to improvement in all planes will ensure that your shoulder mobility is not throttling your progress in locking out those big lifts! For a full synopsis of exercises referred to in this article, please view our technical video overview!