Learning to pack your shoulder is essential for almost every exercise you do. Shoulder packing will not only protect it, but will also give you more leverage when doing pulling or pressing movements such as Lat Pulldowns or Bench Pressing.
What is Shoulder Packing?
The shoulder joint has high amounts of mobility which is a good thing because it allows us to move through space (forward, backward, up, down, side to side). Unfortunately the cost of mobility is stability. Because it is not a stable joint, you need to learn to stabilize it when lifting.
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Shoulder packing positions the joint in the best possible way to have the most safe and strongest position. Depending on how you are moving, this may be a bit different, but the basic principle is always the same– shoulders down and back.
To pack your shoulder, first stand up or sit up straight. Then, push your chest out. Take a second and try to realize what is going on. Your shoulder blades come closer together and your shoulders actually go down towards your pockets.
Try this simple exercise to get your shoulders loosened up:
Shoulder External Rotation
- Grab some light exercise tubing or band.
- With your elbows on your sides and bent 90 degrees grab the band with your palms up.
- Move your hands apart while trying to prevent your elbows from moving and squeezing your shoulder blades together.
This exercise is great as a warm up to activate your shoulders before exercise.
Once you know what a packed shoulder feels like, you can try recreating that feeling when you are working out.
A packed shoulder is a stable shoulder.