Shoulder flexibility in developing gymnasts

Hi All,

Today I’m going to do a quick post on flexibility, specifically focusing on shoulders. There is a lot of discussion by coaches about splits, oversplits vs active flex etc. But I find that one thing that gets overlooked in a lot of gyms is shoulder flexibility, or at least it doesn’t get addressed as much. This isn’t always so much a problem a lower levels, but as shoulder strength increases as gymnasts get older I don’t see coaches putting in the effort to maintain the flexibility, this can become a substantial problem if gymnasts shoulder flexibility becomes limited to the point where they start using their lower backs instead of shoulders.

This first video has a number of good shoulder stretches in it. They won’t take you very long to add to your workout, but if shoulder flexibility isn’t addressed at all in your workout, you’ll find that as your athletes develop, their flexibility is dramatically impaired, and may even limit the skills they can do.

This second video is a good depiction of what I am talking about. You can see that at the point where her flexibility stops she starts compensating with her back. Preventing back problems by putting in the time developing shoulder flexibility is the smart way to go.


Train hard!
shoulder stretch.jpg

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