Shoulder Warmup Drill

Activate & Improve Kinesthetic Awareness and Control of Your Shoulders

By Coach E

This is a drill that I introduce in Phase 3 of Shoulder Control as a part of Step 4 of the Precision Movement 4-Step Process: Functional Integration.

The reason why it’s in Step 4 of the process is because it trains multiple joints at once, this time both shoulders, in more complex movements including reciprocal movement patterns.

Reciprocal movement is when a joint on one side does one movement and the joint on the other side does the opposite.

So think of the arms or legs when you’re walking, a kayaker paddling or when a boxer throws a combo of punches and when one fist is going out the other is coming back in.

The drill I’ve got for you today is great for warming your shoulders up as you can take it to whatever ranges you’ll be working.

You might’ve even seen or done it before, but the devil is in the details.

When you perform it as I teach, you’ll be actively going into end ranges versus how most people do it, which forces your shoulders into passive ranges. Studies show passive static stretching is probably not the best idea right before working out, so if you do this drill, do it like I show.

All you need is a stick that you can take an approximate overhead squat grip width on and some space to move your arms up overhead.

Once you’ve got that, give it a shot:

And for your shoulder’s pleasure, here are links to a couple of other reciprocal movement drills I’ve previously shared:

Scapular Stability Technique

Prone Alternating Reach

About the Author

Eric Wong (aka Coach E) is the founder of Precision Movement and has a degree in Kinesiology from the University of Waterloo. He's been a coach since 2005 and spent his early career training combat athletes including multiple UFC fighters and professional boxers. He now dedicates himself to helping active people eliminate pain and improve mobility. He lives in Toronto (Go Leafs Go!) with his wife and two kids and drinks black coffee at work and IPAs at play. Click here to learn more about Eric.