This is the new step I've recently added to the Precision Movement Process and it's one that should be a cornerstone in your exercise toolbox to keep you moving freely and without pain so you can do your thing.
Introducing Step 3: End Range Expansion (ERE)
It's an evolution of a technique I've taught in the past called End Range Activation and it's still about activating at end range, I've just refined the protocol and added details to follow to make improving mobility systematic and repeatable.
If you're giving this a try and your shoulders aren't feeling the greatest or you don't have the best control, it may be difficult to do effectively, but give it a shot anyway just to see how it feels and give you something to strive for.
But regardless if you're in pain or feeling great, the ERE protocol should always feel challenging because you're working at end range for an extended period of time and it requires you to always be contracting!
The core ERE Protocol is as follows:
- Determine what range you want to expand
- Actively enter this end range
- Build tension in the muscles that brought you to this range and hold
- Release, maintain joint position, then build tension in the muscles that exit the range
- Release, maintain joint position, then build tension in muscles that perform another movement in the range i.e. internal/external rotation
- Finish with the same sequence on the muscles that enter the range (start and finish with the same activation pattern)
Other key points:
[+] All tension must be both built and released slowly. If you contract or release too quickly, neuromuscular reflexes may kick in limiting range (muscle spindle) and/or contraction intensity (golgi tendon organs).
[+] When you hold the contraction, keep actively contracting the muscles working for more range and the maximum safest tension you can build and hold for 1-2 slow 360° breaths, not a set amount of time.
[+] Relax any muscles that aren't contributing to the work. At first, you'll need to create tension in other areas of the body, but as you practice and develop skill with the technique, you'll be able to relax these muscles without negative effects.
So, now that you have a basic understanding of the ERE protocol, here's a clip from a workshop I recently did where I took a group of trainers through it, as well as another technique I use to expand your end range:
So, after you improve your mobility using the ERE protocol, what's next?
That's what we'll cover in the next part in the series where I'll be breaking down Step 4 for you.
Make sure you add today's technique into those from Step 1 and 2 and by the end of this 4 Part training, I wager your shoulders will be feeling noticeably more stable and mobile.