MOBILITY MONDAY: Shoulder External Rotation

What is shoulder external rotation and what makes it important?

Mobility Monday is TE3’s weekly info corner about mobility. 

Last week we discussed shoulder internal rotation. Today we will talk a little more about shoulders, but this time move onto the external rotation. As a recap, the shoulder is our most mobile joint. How does shoulder external rotation differ from internal rotation?

Shoulder external rotation is when you rotate your shoulders outwards from the center of your body (check the photo below).

Everyday life

It has been studied that restrictions in shoulder external rotation may make daily activities difficult. External rotation is needed for example when doing a ponytail or putting your hands behind your neck.

Exercising and performance

When exercising hard and repeating movements with external load, shoulder external rotation is important to keep the rotator cuff muscles healthy and optimize shoulder mechanics. For example in military/overhead press, external rotation is needed.

The reference value for shoulder external rotation is 90°.

Shoulder external rotation is one of the test movements in TE3 Mobility Analysis.

Why should you worry about your external rotation?

Sufficient external rotation in shoulders helps keeping your shoulders healthy and improve your posture as well as the ability to reach and lift objects overhead.

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