Understanding the White Wristband

I am writing this blog in hopes of explaining the importance of the white wristband that some of you may wear fashionably around your wrist. Although some of you know of an existing or previous shoulder condition that may be hindering your mobility and shoulder range of motion, many of you feel pain free and pressing overhead may not cause any uncomfortable sensations when performing that motion. Lots of factors come into play when performing our shoulder mobility test- the test checking to see if you should be wearing the corresponding white wristband. Don’t be ashamed and don’t become discouraged, as there are many ways to work your way out of this band and improve mobility in your upper body!

What is this band for?

This wristband corresponds with the shoulder mobility test, illustrated above, as well as the shoulder impingement tests.

  • This test asses:
    • Scapular mobility and thoracic spine flexibility
    • Shoulder mobility in a combination of motions: internally rotate and adduct one shoulder while externally rotating and abducting the opposite shoulder
    • Symmetry between left and right sides
  • A red flag on this test is attributed to limited ROM or pain! Some of our red flags would include having slouched posture/ rounded shoulders – possibly from sitting in a chair all day (which can result in shortened latissimus dorsi and pectoral muscles), a previous injury and or scar tissue buildup, or having pain while performing the impingement test

What does this mean when it comes to exercise?

We want to be cautious of overhead exercises! The current status of limited shoulder mobility or shoulder pain can result in compensation by utilizing mobility of the spine to perform the exercise (which will then make for a very unhappy back over time!).

Examples of exercises not performed with a white band:

  • Overhead pressing of any sort: with resistance bands, dumbbells, etc.

Well, how can I work to get out of my band? I want to do some of those exercises!!!

This is where becoming best friends with the two exercises listed below: Open Book and Quadruped Extension Rotation will be important. Also, remember to take warm up seriously on the training floor and focus on your breathing. Belly breathing is very important and helpful in order to unnecessary tension out of the shoulders and traps.

1. Open Book

Purpose: to improve mobility of the thoracic spine

How to perform it:

  • Lie down on your side, bring your top leg forward and anchor it down on foam roller
  • Stack both hands chest height
  • Reach the top arm forward, slowly rotate the top arm back while following that hand with your eyes
  • Slowly close it back up

Repeat: 1 minute on each side

Don't do it: if you experience pain during the exercise

2. Quadruped Extension Rotation

Purpose: to improve extension & rotation in the T-spine

How to perform it:

  • Get onto all fours: hands and knees, and sit your bum back on your heels
  • Slide your left elbow back so it is touching your left knee and place your right hand behind your head
  • Begin with the right elbow touching the left elbow and then begin to slowly reach the right elbow up and back rotating at the thoracic spine (follow the elbow with the eyes)
  • Slowly close back up

Repeat: 1 minute on each side

Don't do it: if you experience pain during the exercise

Happy stretching,
Coach Cari

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