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Movement Videos, Testimonials and possible ramblings....

This exercise is a progressed version of a prone position body weight loaded scapular protraction/retraction exercise. It is progressed because it is a single arm version from atop a box. Having only 3 points of contact requires a greater effort in stabilizing through the midline and the shoulder.  Regressed versions of this Single Arm movement include being done from the knees, rather than a full push up position, until rotation stability has been solidified. Basic requirements include solid scapular mobility with the strength ability to protract and retract , and a single arm plank hold. There are numerous exercises that are utilized to progress up to this level. This movement can be progressed further by adding a weight or banded component.


Working towards a better shoulder position. When I work 1-1 with clients I take the time to explain what we are wanting to achieve with movement and exercises, vs. the aberrations that tend to occur as a result of poor mobility, stability, motor control, and/or strength.

Explanations and auditory/visual/tactile cues help when someone has a difficult time "feeling" what's occurring with a movement. Then, we pair it together with what it "feels" like moving in both the goal position and the one we are trying to move away from. It's important for the client to gain an understanding of what it "feels" like when the movement is executed both correctly and incorrectly. Awareness leads to progress. Often what "feels" "normal" and "right", is usually not ideal when a person has dysfunctional or inefficient movement patterns.

In the beginning of retraining their brain and body patterns for movement, clients will frequently hear me say: "if it feels easy or right, you are probably doing something wrong."

-What "feels" normal and "easy" to your brain are ingrained patterns and skills we no longer want to continue.

-Learning and developing new skills is usually awkward at first. Awareness leads to progress.

Karen knows what I mean when I speak of the elbow sitting/moving higher than the hand position. We've taken the time to go over it for a number of different movements so that she feels she understands what she is trying to achieve. She takes a moment to listen, think, then attempts (very well) to self correct.


We want a stable scapula (shoulder blade) that is NOT elevated and anteriorly tipping as we retract and downwardly rotate it back down. So, we want an elbow that is inline with the torso, not behind it. Focusing on guiding your arm in that position helps to keep the shoulder blade in a better position.


We also want a hand that is at least even with the elbow relative to the torso, not dropped down below it. A stable blade when moving her arms back down is:

posteriorly tipped

depressed and downwardly rotating

with a humerus (upper arm bone) that can stay in external rotation as I squeeze back down into that 90/90 position.


Shoulder blades that hunch towards your ears combined with elbows that chicken wing behind the torso with a downward sloping forearm angle (elbow higher than wrist/hand), are arms rolling into internal rotation and shoulder blades moving in the wrong direction...

There is a time and place for that. This exercise is not that time or place🧐


All of this depends on the clients mobility, stability, and strength for scapular thoracic movement and glenohumeral flexion/extension, adduction/abduction, internal/external rotation. Fancy schmancy words for shoulder blade position and how your arm moves in the socket.

With a stable shoulder blade in good position, how far back can you really rotate the humerus? Can you tell the difference? Can you even place the blade where it belongs? Can you keep it there when you move your arm?

Keeping it stable, can you then rotate the arm downwards without letting the shoulder blade go along for the ride? Shoulder blade should stay in the same spot. Arm should rotate in the socket. We still have room for improvement with Karen. However the corrected rep, although not perfect, was much better than the ones before it and in her workable range. That's important! Awareness leads to progress.


It's not about how far back you can squeeze things. There are a number of different coupled motions that are happening with this exercise. Don't retract and squeeze the crap out of the motion at the expense of the true goal of the movement. Instead, make things flow in a stable pattern with your current level of mobility and strength. Go slow, take your time, be aware. Move with Intent.

Want to work with a trainer that can teach you how to move and exercise in a manner that actually helps your body improve? Are you looking for a trainer that understands movement? That works hard to individualize a plan tailored to your needs? That is stubborn and patient enough to take the time to work on the areas holding you back from your goals? That can see the areas holding you back? That doesn't just put you through the motions?

Studio currently has open spots for training sessions. Message me to set up a consult if this interests you.

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When you're trying to get your clients to zone in on activating specific movement patterns, keep it pared down and simple. Simple does not mean easy!!! There are a lot of working parts that need to sync up for most exercises.

So keep the movement small at first when learning. Visual cues help immensely to get the brain to cue in faster. All I need is a slider and a PVC pipe to work on bilateral body weight loaded hip abduction/adduction.

Many people have a difficult time initiating upright hip abduction/adduction while also keeping stable through spine, core, ankles and feet. Walking efficiently requires this, so it just might be important....🧐

Everyone wants to toss in lateral monster walks into corrective programs or workouts, without addressing the common deficiencies that prevent a person or client from performing the movement well. I like to start with lateral slider movement. First with one slider, then when I can see that my client is stable and producing the desired movement, we move onto two sliders.

1. Neither knee should collapse or internally rotate in at any time. Keep them lined up with your 2nd toe. Most folks have a harder time keeping that knee stable when pulling or stepping in with the other leg. You might see the knee move in and the same side hip shift outward, the opposite hip drops down slightly. Start the movement small, don't go so wide. Give yourself a chance to figure it out at your current abilities.

2. It's a hip focused exercise. Therefore, the knees should always stay flexed (bent). If you are pushing to the side and your knee straightens, then you just mostly used your quads to produce the movement. If you pop up during the movement, same thing. Your height throughout the movement should not vary. Be the crab moving sideways.

3. Hips are flexed as well with weight distributed evenly over the whole foot. Heels should not lift up. You should not feel all the weight on the front of your foot. You should feel balanced and even.

4. Don't squat down super low or to 90° if your intention is to train your hip abductors. The angle most hip abductor muscles connect into the thigh bone is such that a slight to moderate bend in the knees and hip (think athletic stance) works the best. The closer your thigh gets parallel to the ground, the more your deeper external rotators come into play because their angle favors that position. Move with Intent. What is your goal? Angles and depth matter.

5. Keep your toes and heels aligned straight forward. Work on controlling that position.

6. Core stays lightly engaged. Spine is neutral. Keep hips even and level as you move. Again, be the crab. Do not be the Sumo wrestler walking out onto the mat (visualize it.... don't hike your hips to move sideways.)

7. Hold the PVC pipe against and straight down the center of your body. Look down. As you move, the PVC should always be straight, not tilted. Tilting means hiking a hip. The PVC should always have the same distance between the pipe, and each knee. It should not be closer to one side, when you move in or out. So, if you are moving correctly, your groin area stays centered between your feet and knees at all times. The pipe helps you to see this more easily and correct if needed.

8. Start by gliding out, and gliding in. 10 reps. Switch sides. Do it in front of a mirror. Don't reach for it. Push yourself sideways, and then pull yourself back to center. Master it before moving on.

If you are interested in learning more or training with me, I currently have a few studio spots open. Just send me a message!

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