Dr. Brandon Tom (@brandonw8lifter) is back with more. This time...

A video posted by Diane Fu (@dianefu) on

Dr. Brandon Tom (@brandonw8lifter) is back with more. This time we took a look at your sticky front rack. Also, the tennis ball is mobilizing the outside edge of your armpit — DO NOT STICK THE TENNIS BALL RIGHT INTO YOUR ARMPIT. You will mess yourself up.

Last week’s post addressed joint mobilization to fix overhead shoulder issues. Soft tissue restriction often times contributes to overhead as well as front rack problems as well. Commonly I’ve seen that restriction in the shoulder internal rotators located adjacent to the armpit region (latissimus, teres major, subscapularis for all the anatomy/physio people out there) is the culprit. Common signs of this restriction include difficulty raising the elbows and keeping the hands fully gripped outside of the shoulders and on the bar during the front squat/clean. Overhead we tend to see turned out elbows and increased arm bend during the lockout of a jerk/push press. While smashing your armpit/lats out on a roller is probably the easiest method to address this, I prefer the mobilization in the video for a couple reasons:

1. Mobilizations tend to be more effective when combined with active movement as shown in the video above.

2. The ball allows the athlete to access some of the deeper internal rotators of the shoulder that the roller can’t. .

To perform this mobilization:


1. Make a small cut into a tennis ball and place on one end of a PVC pipe.

2. Secure one end of PVC pipe against a corner of a room where the floor meets the wall.

3. Adopt a lunge position facing the tennis ball end of the pipe and apply pressure with the tennis. ball end ADJACENT to the armpit so that it contacts the muscles just to the side of the armpit. DO NOT PLACE THE PIPE AND PUT PRESSURE DIRECTLY INTO THE ARMPIT.

4. Start with your arm in front of you palm down, shift body weight forward and bring arm overhead. Rotate arm so your palm faces behind you as you move overhead.

5. Repeat 20 times.

6. Follow up with some overhead pressing or even hang in the bottom of a chin up position from a pull up bar.

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