“Grease” your shoulder joint (rotator cuff): rear deltoid, teres minor & major, infraspinatus fascial release

Give your shoulders some love!

This posterior shoulder joint “grease” is fast and powerful at relieving pain through a variety of shoulder movements such as extension, abduction and lateral rotation.

IMPORTANT: if your pain is actually IN the rotator cuff region or any of the associated muscles to the right, please try releasing something on the front of your body instead of doing this technique! Good places to check are your biceps and front deltoid, pec minor and brachialis for starters.

If you have pain on the FRONT of your shoulder in or near the shoulder joint through any range of motion (not just sitting still), that’s a good indication this technique could help. This is due to a human anatomy law called reciprocol inhibition: opposite muscles inhibit one another, and if there’s pain through a range of motion it often indicates too much restriction in the opposite muscle that’s contracting (aka the one that’s being asked to stretch), causing the brain to ping you with a signal (pain) to get out of that movement so you don’t tear anything due to overstretching.

Here’s what we’re targeting: we’ll be trying to grab or “pin” a piece of several rotator cuff muscles, but primarily we’re going after infraspinatus, teres minor, teres major and the rear deltoid (not a rotator cuff muscle).

How to get the most out of this technique:

  • The first time you try this, HUNT around for the BEST spots! They may be only a centimeter apart, but it’s worth spending time on each “separate” spot even if the distance is that small. You may find several spots. You know you have something good when the tissue you’re pinning feels sore, tender or otherwise “intense” with compression.
  • You can use a lacrosse ball, yoga tune up ball or anything like that as long as it’s “grippy” so you can actually pin some fascia, and you want it to have some give but be hard enough to absorb your weight. A tennis ball could work, but probably not as well because it’ll absorb too much of your body weight.
  • Once you find your spots, spend 30 seconds or so moving through the range of motions outlined in the video. Try them all, then do what works best for you.
  • Find 3-4 spots, work them out for 30 seconds, then get up and move around.