3 Reasons Why The Common Advice Won’t Get
You Anywhere… And The 6-Step Solution
Hey, Eric Wong here, strength and conditioning coach to professional combat athletes and coach to thousands via my online programs since 2008.
Wow, I’ve been doing this online coaching thing for a while now but I guess time flies when you’re having fun!
And in that time, I’ve continued to study and learn, not just about training and performance, but also how best to create programs to ensure effective implementation and adherence.
In fact, that’s been kind of a trademark for me – making the complex simple and the abstract tangible, so that when you get one of my programs, there’s no question as to what to do – you simply follow the clear and concise directions and voila, you get the results promised.
I’ve also learned to LISTEN. Not just because my wife is always bugging me to, but because I finally realized that it made sense to give my clients exactly what they want and need as opposed to coming up with what I think they want or need.
And one of the problems my clients kept asking me to address was tight shoulders and all of the associated issues, which include:
- Bad, slouchy posture
- Inability to touch your hands behind your back
- Forward head
- Difficulty reaching overhead and doing overhead exercises
- Rotator cuff issues
- Neck pain and tightness
And more dysfunctional and annoying problems where tight shoulders are often the root cause…
Now, before I reveal the step-by-step SYSTEM that will unlock your tight shoulders, we’ve got to discuss a very important fact that a lot of people get wrong about how to fix tight shoulders, which is that…
Typical Static Stretching Is By Far The LEAST
Effective Method For Improving Your Flexibility
Static Stretching Problem #1:
It Isn’t a LASTING Solution
The reason why is that tight muscles often aren’t the problem they’re the symptom.
Static stretching is another product of the conventional thinking that the entire medical system is based upon – treat the symptoms instead of figuring out and addressing the root cause.
With respect to the shoulders, you could have one or all of these signs pointing to tight muscles:
- Rounded shoulders
- Forward head
- Excessively curved thoracic spine
- Depressed ribcage / sunken chest
- Inability to touch your hands behind your back
Inability to reach your arms overhead without pain
If all you’re doing is static stretches for these issues, you’re not addressing other more important factors that are key to ensuring that you can keep the gains you make.
Without this, you can stretch until the cows come home but tightness will ALWAYS return.
However there are key details about how to strengthen those muscles that will make the difference, which we’ll get to later.
Static Stretching Problem #2:
It Won’t Improve Dynamic Movements (and can actually hurt them)
If all you do in life is sleep, eat, walk and sit, then you can ignore this point.
But if you exercise, play a sport or move your body in anyway other than walking and getting up and down from sitting, then static stretching won’t give you everything you need.
Flexibility is specific and if all you’re doing is passive, static stretching, you’re not improving your range of motion for dynamic movements, since dynamic movements require more than just flexible muscles.
To improve range of motion in dynamic movements, you need to loosen tight muscles (and fascia and other soft tissue) and you also need to improve strength and coordination as well as reprogram your neuromuscular system to use the new range of motion you achieve.
If all you do is static stretching, you may improve range of motion in that stretch, but once you go to use it in a movement you won’t have the strength or coordination to get in or out of that range of motion and your nervous system will simply tighten you back up to prevent injury, since it knows you don’t have the strength or control in that range of motion.
A lack of strength and coordinated muscle action to stabilize your joints at the end ranges of motion is dangerous and can result in ligament injuries and muscle tears, which is why your nervous system automatically tightens you back up since being tight prevents these types of injuries from occurring.
Not to mention the fact that studies show that static stretching can decrease strength and power for up to 24 hours… not good if performance is your goal!
Finally, there’s one more major problem that the most common advice given to fix your tight areas…
Static Stretching Problem #3:
It Can Strain Your Ligaments (and result in traumatic joint injury)
In our culture, we often think that “more is better”.
More money, a bigger house, faster car, more clothes, etc…
We tend to apply this thinking to every area of our life.
However, when applied to static stretching, more can actually be worse. A lot worse.
If you over-aggressively perform a static stretch, you can actually get into stretching things you don’t want to stretch, such as ligaments.
Ligaments are designed as a fail-safe for your joint – if your muscles for whatever reason don’t contract when they’re supposed to, the ligaments come in and ensure your joint stays stable.
However, if you stretch your ligaments, which often happens with excessive static stretching, this fail-safe won’t work when it needs to and the result is an unstable joint and damage to muscles, ligaments, meniscus, bursa and other tissues.
That’s why when your goal is increased flexibility, you can never forget about increased stability at the same time, or you might pay for it with an injury later, which will leave you tighter than before you started.
“So what’s the answer for my TIGHT shoulders?”
Through years of study and experimentation on myself and my athletes, observing what works and what doesn’t, I’ve identified 9 distinct factors that must be addressed to ensure rapid gains in flexibility.
It’s Called The 3D Flexibility System™
STRENGTH FACTOR #1: JOINT STABILIZER
Without proper joint stabilizer function, your body will instinctively tighten up muscles around the joint so that they don’t become damaged.
STRENGTH FACTOR #2: CORE
For many people, the core muscles, which include the abdominals and deep back muscles, don’t work properly. Unfortunately, this leads to compensatory tightness in other muscles that protect the lumbar spine, including hip muscles such as the psoas and glutes. That’s why you must get each and every core muscle firing and working as designed.
STRENGTH FACTOR #3: PRIME MOVER
The prime movers are the muscles that move you in to and out of a range of motion. Without strength in these muscles, you cannot use whatever range of motion you gain through methods like static stretching, which is why these methods are an ineffective solution to your flexibility problems.
NEUROMUSCULAR FACTOR #1: CONTROL
The ability to consciously feel, activate and relax the muscles in your body plays a huge role in your ability to develop both flexibility and strength.
NEUROMUSCULAR FACTOR #2: REFLEXES
Your body has various reflexes that must be accounted for when your goal is to improve your flexibility: the myotatic stretch reflex and reciprocal inhibition, which you’ll learn in the program.
NEUROMUSCULAR FACTOR #3: PAIN TOLERANCE
While you never want to do anything painful that could cause damage or injury, a certain level of pain tolerance must be achieved to gain flexibility, just like when trying to gain strength or muscle and having to push through exercises when they become difficult.
SOFT TISSUE FACTOR #1: MUSCLE
Muscle is what most people think about when thinking about flexibility, but as you’ve discovered, it’s just one component that must be addressed. Plus, most people miss strentching all of the fibers in any muscle group, which you’ll discover how to do properly in the program.
SOFT TISSUE FACTOR #2: FASCIA
Fascia is the connective tissue between muscle fibers that keeps your muscles organized. Unfortunately, it can develop adhesions and scar tissue and these restrictions must be eliminated to achieve maximal flexibility.
SOFT TISSUE FACTOR #3: JOINT CAPSULE
As you’ve discovered on this page, the joint capsule is responsible for 47% of restriction to your flexibility. If you don’t address it, you’re never going to be as flexible as you could be.
Once You Release Your Tight Shoulders, You’ll Flow
Through Life More Effortlessly And You’ll Wonder Why Your Workouts Used To Seem So Hard
When you’re stiff and tight, everything takes more effort…
Daily activities like putting things away on the top shelf of the cupboard can go from a task you should be able to easily do but instead, you’re forced to grab a step stool so you don’t have to reach up and experience the associated pain …
Exercises in the gym that you should be able to do without an issues instead cause you pain and you just end up avoiding them altogether… and find that the list of exercises you have to avoid continues to grow…
And if you do any sports like golf or tennis or martial arts, you might find yourself getting slower and less powerful and you might even be chalking it up to “old age”.
But once you release your shoulders, you’ll find that movements that used to be hard and cause you to grimace take half the effort they used to and life and training becomes a whole lot easier.
And to make the whole process a piece of cake, I’ve developed a powerful and efficient system that when followed, makes it damn near impossible to stay tight.
Introducing The 6-Step Shoulder Flexibility System
This system is based on science and like I said, when followed, you’re sure to feel looser than you have in years.
And because I know you’re busy and can’t afford to waste any time, I’ve applied this system to create ultra-specific routines laser-targeting the most common shoulder flexibility problems including:
The Behind The Back Routine
Trouble touching your hands behind your back indicates a restriction in many areas in the shoulder as well as active strength and control.
This routine will have you touching your hands behind your back in no time by releasing the restricted tissues and building functional strength in the appropriate movements.
The Forward Head Posture Routine
Every inch your head juts forward adds 10 pounds of force onto your cervical spine, speeding degeneration and causing excess neck and jaw tension and even headaches.
Performing this routine will restore the proper neutral head position keeping your neck healthy.
The Overhead Routine
When you have flexibility issues reaching overhead, you’re at a high risk of suffering tendonitis of the deltoids and nerve impingements.
Restoring this range of motion requires addressing not just the shoulder but also the thoracic spine, as well as ensuring the core properly activates.
The Rounded Shoulders Routine
Rounded shoulders are a common occurrence in today’s society because of all of the time we spend sitting while driving, in front of computers and staring at our phones, leaving us at risk of degenerative disc and decreased strength and flexibility.
Fixing this posture requires a synergistic approach of lengthening and strengthening so that neutral posture becomes your new norm.
The Winged Scapula Routine
A winged scapula indicates an unstable shoulder blade, which decreases your strength and leaves you at risk of injury.
Properly activating and integrating both the serratus anterior and subscapularis is key to fixing this problem.
The Pre-Workout Shoulder Prep
This routine is designed to maximize the mobility of your shoulder and ensure all of the stabilizer muscles of your shoulder are activated and ready to keep your shoulder safe during the most intense workouts.
When you perform this routine before your workouts, you’ll lift more with less effort and quickly hit new PRs.
Each routine includes a PDF outlining the exact exercises, reps, sets and rest periods, as well as high quality streaming and downloadable videos where I’ll coach you on how to perform every exercise with perfect technique.
You also get the Implementation Guide which will walk you through assessing your current shoulder flexibility and function and tell you exactly what routines you need now and what routines you should hold off on for now to ensure you’re getting the most bang for your training buck.
I’ve put a lot of time and effort into designing the Shoulder Flexibility Solution, testing and tweaking it and making sure it’s the most effective and efficient program possible.
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