In this post, I break down a drill that we use for folks with varying pain or movement issues:
The Monster Band Lateral Slide.
Some important pieces to remember here:
- No matter what type of resistance you are using it is very important to continuously cue your clients to maintain the most strict spinal ‘alignment’ during this drill. Realize that any repetitions performed with poor A/P (anterior/posterior) or medial/lateral mechanics further engrains the poor movement patterning that you are likely trying to teach that client from repeating. NO “weeble wobbling” or “teeter tottering”. Trunk should be tall and the hips/feet move BENATH everthing.
- This is an excellent lateral hip and paraspinal (back/posture) muscle exercise but recognize that with some minor tweaks it can be aimed more aggressively at thoracic spine and/or cervical spine extension ability. Mix in double or single arm over head presses while maintaining the aforementioned perfect alignment. I like to use the “athletic posture” cue to remind clients where I’d like to see them. Another cue might be to ask them to envision a short stop in baseball, middle linebacker in football or a tennis player JUST before the action happens. They are supple and ready to respond in any direction with their hips and knees slightly flexed and upper body tall and strong.
- Elbows INSIDE of hands. If we keep our elbows inside of the width of our shoulders and slightly forward we can get a much more corrective response of the lower trapezius, mid thoracic spine and low cervical spine. These minor changes to the overall mechanics of the move can easily fatigue a client but also break a chronically protracted scapulae and forward head posturing habit.
SUPER IMPORTANT POINT: If this piece of the drill is done backwards, we are very effectively teaching the upper trapezius to assume the entire load of the both scapulothroacic joints and reinforcing a forward head with rounded shoulders pattern.
- Don’t add too many wrinkles at once! A common mistake with a drill like this is to add too many moving parts. Remember: the clients brain has to wrap itself around this drill just as much as their body. If you overtake that systems’ ability to absorb the exercise, there is NO way that you will get the client’s body to move how you expect.
Try this one for yourself. See what you can add to it and feel free to share!