Secret to Training Active Aging Shoulders

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Training Active Aging Shoulders

shoulder-painThe shoulder joint is the #1 joint most likely to become painful in the active aging body. It is also the #1 most frequently surgically addressed joint in the body.

Nearly 50% of chronic shoulder pain and surgeries could be eliminated by incorporating a simple band distraction routine on a regular weekly basis.

Eliminating painful shoulders can be accomplished using band distraction stretching. This places the shoulder in a more favorable environment that is conducive to decreasing shoulder pain and lengthening out tight soft tissues that are causing the pain.

Here are 3 reasons why continuously looped band distraction may be exactly what your aging shoulders need.

Band Distraction is the Secret to Eliminating Shoulder Pain

Due to the anatomical nature of the shoulder joint and role of the rotator cuffwhich is the #1 structure injured in the shoulderdistraction is a great way to incorporate an effective stretching and mobilization program for a shoulder, especially when it is experiencing pain.

Moving Body on the Arm

Most people try to stretch the shoulder doing exercises that move the arm on the body. This causes the rotator cuff and surrounding muscles to contract. It becomes very difficult to effectively stretch muscles if they are being forced to contract at the same time.

Using band distraction and moving the body on the arm allows the rotator cuff and surrounding muscles to relax and easily stretch. It also allows the shoulder joint to be opened up which instantly decreases compressive pain at the shoulder.

Getting the Rotator Cuff to Relax

Distraction also relaxes the rotator cuff by lengthening it out and removing compressive forces. Knowing the role of the rotator cuff is to create joint compression, by distracting the shoulder it forces the joint to decompress and open up.

This opening up of the shoulder joint relaxes the rotator cuff, allowing pain that is caused by joint compression to be eliminated. With the rotator cuff relaxed using distraction, it now allows the surrounding muscles to easily relax and lengthen out.

Stretching in Horizontal Plane Without Gravity

The best planes of movement to stretch the shoulder are the horizontal and rotational planes. However, unless gravity is eliminated, this is not possible.

Using the band distraction technique which applies a horizontal vector, it allows the arm to be unloaded and the effects of gravity to be removed. Once gravity is no longer an issue, it becomes very easy to effectively stretch and release pressure on structures that are typically causing the shoulder to hurt.

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Why Tubes Will Not Work

Obviously elastic resistance is needed to create an effective band distraction technique. However, tubular bands will not provide the ability to effectively attach onto the arm to create effective distraction of the shoulder.

The flat nature of the band allows the forces of the stretch to be placed onto the wrist, allowing the hand to not have to grasp. By not having to grasp, it allows the shoulder joint muscles to relax and stretch more effectively.

How to Implement Shoulder Distraction

Best Band Package to Implement Shoulder Distraction

Medium Single Band Package



Band Utility Strap



Meet Dave

Dave Schmitz, PT, CSCS, PES has been writing, teaching and training how to implement resistance band training for rehabilitation, general conditioning, and performance since 1996. He is the founder & co-owner of Resistance Band Training— the leading band provider worldwide.

Along with being a co-author of the Amazon best seller, Total Body Breakthroughs, Dave is also the author and producer of numerous fitness & nutrition articles, E-books, DVDs. His passion is focused on trainers, clients, and athletes improve their body’s ability to handle momentum, gravity and ground reaction forces using elastic resistance. Dave also consults online with several high schools, universities, private performance training business and is also on the board of experts for the International Youth and Conditioning Association (IYCA).

8 Responses to "Secret to Training Active Aging Shoulders"
  1. Alex Katsanos says:

    That was amazing Dave. Thank you for that great stretch and keep up the great work!

  2. Ben LaCasse says:

    Great post, Dave! With rotator cuff issues, this was very informative. My question is: What amount of time is sufficient when doing these stretches as a warm-up for an upper body routine? Obviously that may vary from person to person, but generally speaking…


  3. Leslie says:

    Great information Dave, this is super to use in the Medical fitness.
    I hope you place more of this for the knee, hips, rsi related complanes.

    Regards, Leslie

  4. Dave Schmitz says:


    That is the goal… Thanks for the feedback.


  5. Dave Schmitz says:


    I like to use about 5 minutes to flow through shoulder distraction stretching. The key is to focus on restriction planes and making sure you are not creating pathological Rotator cuff pain but more muscle stretch.

  6. Dave Schmitz says:


    Will do …Thank you

  7. Wes Lindert says:

    Between you and Shamus at Back in Action, I’ve been pretty much stretching my shoulders like that for a couple of years now. Works great !
    Oh, and I like the warm up too!

  8. Dave Schmitz says:


    Glad to here it


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