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The Power of Pass Throughs: Unlocking your shoulders

Small shoulder injuries can escalate to become chronic nagging issues which will ultimately affect our quality of life. Sitting, texting, driving, and the many hours spent in front of the computer will put your shoulders in a poor position and lead to issues related to impingement and instability.

While it's important to consider your neck, shoulder blade, thoracic spine and ribs (see diagram), we will keep it very simple today and talk about pass throughs.


A pass through or shoulder dislocate can be performed with a resistance band, dowel, towel, or anything that you can hold between two hands which is straight. The idea is that we are trying to increase our mobility in our shoulder socket, which increases our buffering capacity for movements which challenge our shoulder joint's range. If you have lots of room to move, then reaching up, pulling doors, grabbing boxes over head, throwing a ball, and picking up your kids will be less likely to tear the soft tissues associated with your shoulder.

Pass through: With both palms facing down, grab a towel in front of you with a fairly wide grip (this may be your full wingspan if you are limited in range. Keeping your elbows straight, lift the towel above your head and back down towards your back, shrugging up to do so. Try to keep your ribs down.

You will feel the stretch in your chest and through your shoulders. If this is difficult, use a low resistance band, so there will be more give.

We spend a lot of time at the front of our shoulder capsule, as our stimuli (computers, phones) are in front of us. This is fine, but are shoulder joint is meant to sit nicely in the capsule, not hang in the front.

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