Dr. Adam Meisenhelder with Back In Motion Chirorpractic & Sports Rehab in Beaverton, Oregon, demonstrates PAILs and RAILs exercises to increase shoulder end range motion and end range joint stability.
Shoulder injuries are everywhere. With the increased amount of time spent with our shoulders rounded working & playing at the computer, we set ourselves up for injury when performing overhead and pressing movements. Take, for instance, the following scenario: Software engineer (or anyone working full-time in front of a computer) works 8-10 hours per day with limited breaks, then rushes out the door, runs into his CrossFit gym (Box, to those in the know), only makes it through half the warm-up, then jumps right into heavily loaded overhead work like presses, snatches, thrusters, etc. It doesn't take an expert to see the potential problems here.
At the core of most shoulder injuries lies end-range instability. I can't tell you the number of people I treat in our Beaverton clinic and see at the gym, who can't successfully achieve and unweighted proper overhead position - that is, the arm overhead, shoulder behind the ear. Yet, they are attempting to clear hundreds of pounds of weight over their heads at the gym!! Unfortunately, the weight and momentum of the bar will force your shoulder into the full, end-range position, but I guarantee you that person will have no real control of the joint in that position. This is when injuries occur.
At this point, I'm sure I sound like a broken record, but my mantra remains unchanged; TRAIN END-RANGE STABILITY TO AVOID INJURY. The PAILs and RAILs drills are simply exceptional at developing maximal useful joint end-range. They not only work to increase flexibility of the joint, but even more importantly, they work to build great strength in that range.
If you are an overhead lifter, this drill if for you.
As always, check in with our great staff if you have any questions on this or any other exercise. Happy training!
Back In Motion Chiropractic & Sports Rehab - Serving The Beaverton & Portland Community For Over 25 Years - "Moving Toward Your Finish Line"