Quick Reference: Screwy Shoulder

About the Author: Eric Cressey

I get asked quite a bit about what I look for when I see a screwy shoulder. Here you go!

1. Scapular stability
2. Thoracic spine range of motion
3. Cervical spine function
4. Breathing patterns
5. Mobility of the opposite hip
6. Mobility of the opposite ankle
7. Overall soft tissue quality (especially posterior capsule)
8. Glenohumeral (ball-and-socket joint) range of motion
9. Rotator cuff strength

Rotator cuff function is lower down on the ladder simply because the rotator cuff is reflexive and you don’t have to worry about firing it in everyday life. Nobody actively tightens up infraspinatus to pick up a suitcase – and you can more easily compensate for a lack of rotator cuff function with added scapular stability (as evidenced by the number of people with internal impingement – a hypermobility problem – who can get by without surgery).

The thing I absolutely love about the Inside-Out DVD from Mike Robertson and Bill Hartman is that it covers the overwhelming majority of these problems. If you have a shoulder problem or want to prevent one, it’s a great DVD to have on your shelf.

Eric Cressey