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Shoulder Mobility and Strength

In the second series of strength and re balancing with Master Trainer Elaine Huba, we talk about shoulder mobility and strengthening. Elaine will discuss the following components which deal with shoulder mobility and strengthening:

  1. How to activate the serratus anterior to develop shoulder girdle stability
  2. Working on rotation by stabilizing the glenohumeral joint
  3. Working on muscle activation and stabilization by focusing on the central nervous system
  4. Removing adhesion in the muscles and connective tissues by doing soft tissue work
  5. Strength training to build stronger shoulders

Although many people focus on shoulder strength, there are some often overlooked muscles which play a huge role in shoulder strength. By not only strengthening the shoulders but also focusing on the stabilizers and gaining mobility through the shoulders, we will be able to get more power in our throw, recover more quickly from injuries and also help prevent injuries from occurring in the first place.


Elaine introduces shoulder mobility and stabilization

1. Serratus Anterior Activation (Shoulder Girdle Stability)
The serratus anterior locks the scapula to the ribcage to prevent the shoulder blade winging out.
Assists the pec minor with protraction & traps with upward rotation for overhead movements


  • Scapular Pushup
  • Supine Single Arm Dumb Bell Protraction

Perform 3 sets 15-20 reps per week

2. Rotator Work (Glenohumeral Stability)
The glenohumeral joint can be visualized as a golf ball sitting on a golf tee; maximal mobility yet quite unstable.

The muscles of the rotator cuff are easily remembered by the acronym SITS: supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor, and subscapularis. All of these muscles originate on different portions of the scapula and insert on the humeral head where they converge at the glenohumeral joint capsule to form a tendinous cuff around the joint.

Collectively, they assume the crucial role of stabilizing the humeral head within the glenoid cavity. Beyond stabilization, each of the muscles also individually contributes to humeral motion:


  • Internal & external rotation
  • YWLs

3. Central Nervous System Work (Muscle Activation/Stabilization)
Motor  units activating patterns of contractions. Stability – active force applied against passive restraints (muscles against tendons)

Unilateral movements for shoulder girdle stabilize with lateral core:

  • One arm overhead press
  • One arm dumbell alternating chest press

Deceleration/Catch drills:

  • Dumbell rebound drop catches

4. Soft Tissue Work (Removing Adhesion in the Muscle & Connective Tissue)
Foam rolling & tennis ball

5. Strength Training 
All shoulder work should be done through major strength movements: bench press, chinups, rows, latpull down etc. If necessary add an accessory overhead press or lateral raise. A bodybuilding type shoulder day workout is overkill for performance based sports.

Seated cable row: loaded scapular retraction

You can find out more about Elaine Huba at:

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