The “How To” of Lacrosse Ball Myofascial Release – Shoulder Edition
By: Dr Jordan Shallow DC
Often times I get approached on the topic of the LAX ball. A seemingly benign object which has found its way into the gym bags of lifters from every discipline. But far to often the use of the lacrosse ball as a form of myofascial release is more of an exploratory mission, then a strategic plan of attack.
Most lifters usually look like bears attempting to wipe their ass on a tree more so than an athlete looking to properly address any muscular aberrations.
The following video was born out of this observation…
The following is a step-by-step “How-to” on how to position a lacrosse ball when working through the rotator cuff and surrounding muscles of the posterior aspect of the shoulder
The focus is primarily on the Infraspinatus, Teres Minor, Rhomboids and Supraspinatus. With brief explanations of each muscles action as it related to stretching.
Infraspinatus: The infraspinatus is responsible for external rotation of the shoulder in 0 degrees abduction, which is to say it externally rotates the shoulder when your arm is at your side. So in order to stretch this under pressure its best to internally rotate from that position
Teres Minor: The teres minor is the second of the two external rotators and it lies on the lateral border of the scapula, its contribution to external rotation comes into effect as the shoulder comes to 90 degrees abduction. So to target the teres make sure your stretching into internal rotation with the shoulder at 90 degrees
Rhomboids: first off rhomboids are not a rotator cuff muscle, but they do play a huge roll in “knots” or “trigger points”, their inclusion into this list comes from experience. Because the rhomboids are usually imbalanced from a postural stand point, they are often a source of pain. exaggerated protraction of the shoulder under pressure is the ideal way to target this muscle group.
Supraspinatus: Although the role of the supraspinatus seems negligible to its counterparts, due to its superior insertion point on the humerus its often the one that most commonly involved muscle/ musculotendinous junction to experience minor injuries or tears, and is most commonly the structure involved in clasic shoulder impingement.
Although this is a tool of self management it is always recommended to book an appointment for a proper evaluation.
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