For anyone out there who feels their shoulders are always tight and have a hard time getting into overhead positions, you may want to look at your Latissiumus Dorsi (“Lats”). Your Lats attach at your upper arm and shoulder blade, lower ribs, pelvis and to the joints in your low back; due to the number of joint attachments, poor mobility can lead to a lot of problems.
Lat Mobility Test
To test your mobility in your Lat, you will get into the position as shown in the picture below and make sure to stabilize your pelvis by flattening low back against the wall. Raise your arms over head and see if you can get your thumbs to touch the wall. While raising your arms, you should not feel your back arch and your elbows should not bend. If you can, you passed the test; if not, and you have to arch your back or bend your elbows to get there. you probably have a Lat mobility problem.
Improve Lat Mobility
To improve your Lat mobility, try the exercise shown in the second part of the video. Make sure you find a height that is comfortable. If this one is too difficult, you can ditch the PVC pipe/broom/golf club/etc. Perform 2-3 stretches, holding for 45-60 secs, taking slow, deep breaths throughout. Re-test after and see if it is improved!