T Nation

Shoulder Flexibility Tips


What exercises/warmups do T-Nationites do for shoulder flexibility and strength? It takes me a while to warm up my shoulders to snatch, or else if I don't, I'll usually hyper extend my back when I get it overhead (re: not fun).

So far, I've taken to using a 7' PVC pipe and, while keeping my elbows locked out, do conic movements around my head. It helps, but I think there's probably a better way to develop shoulder flexibility and strength.

What do you do to prepare your shoulders for Olympic lifting?


-shoulder dislocates with a broomstick
-arm circles (forward/backward, big/small, fast/slow)
-scarecrows with plates
-muscle snatch with empty bar
-snatch press in full squat position


I usually foam roller my upper back, lats, and chest. I then do some behind-the-neck band pulldowns, scap push-ups, and a warm-up with the BB with various snatch presses and military presses. One thing that really works for me is doing dynamic stretching of the pec muscles (basically a diagonal abduction for 10-12 reps).


I like to get a band and then do shoulder dislocates for a bit maybe 10-12, then I will bring the band behind me and try to sort of pull it apart, gives a good stretch in the pec/shoulder. Basically, fool around with a band stretching and squatting overhead, doing dislocates, etc.



Man that felt really good doing those.


Jerk Grip OH Squat - it's a hard one at first.

Jerk something with using squat stance, then once you finished the movement, try do an overhead squat without toppling over. You really need to rotate your shoulders along the versicle plane, and do a nice 'superman' style arch in your back to keep upright.

If you cant do this yet, stand your back against the wall, lower back flattened and upper back flattened with back of head touching wall, and legs straightened and locked (sometimes you cant have your hammies against the wall). With your hands in a hammer grip, do a front raise with your elbows facing outward (palms facing each other), and try and touch your fists to the wall. Hold for 20-30 seconds. Remember to keep all of your back against the wall!

I couldn't touch the wall at the start, now I can :stuck_out_tongue: I think I was just lacking the motor pattern.


Foam roll your whole shoulder. The front, side and rear.

Shoulder dislocate with broomstick. Make your grip narrower as you get more flexible; cm by cm.

This stretch is fantastic:


x2 +foam roll

and do this for consistently for months.

It took me a while before I would snatch press in the full squat position though


Shoulder dislocations before practice and just consistent practice


Usually something like this, in order:

1) Cat camels
2) Med ball roll the thoracic area
3) Arm circles, small to big, forwards and backwards
4) Cuban rotations followed by muscle snatches
5) OHS, starting just outside snatch grip and moving in by a finger each rep until a couple of inches inside snatch grip. Sit in the bottom on each rep and get the chest up.
6) Drop snatch from the toes x5.
7) Snatch from chest x3.
8) Snatch from navel x3.
9) Snatch from hips x3.

At the end of a session when things are very warm I'll sometimes do some clean grip OHS with the bar and sit in the bottom for a while, then hang from the pull up station.


I want to try it, but it looks incredibly painful.