Face Pulls is an exercise used to work the rhomboids, posterior deltoid and external rotators of the shoulder. This is an excellent exercise for athletes to do because it helps balance out all the pressing they typically do. Make sure that when coaching this exercise you place your fingers on the thoracic spine between the scapulae to cue the athlete and prevent substitution.
Have the athlete assume a wide base of support. Attach a rope to the cable and place it at where approximately 90 degrees of shoulder flexion occurs. Have the athlete grasp the end of the rope with a pronated grip and elbows extended. Next, cue the athlete to pull the rope toward their face while simultaneously externally rotating the shoulders. The end position should show the “V” part of the rope close to the face with the elbows flexed and shoulders externally rotated. Make sure to look for substitutions at the low back region.
The Nordic Hamstring Curl is a hamstring strengthening exercise that is vital to an athlete’s rehabilitation or offseason strengthening program. Hamstring strains are among some of the most common injuries in sports. Unfortunately, many times we do not have access to a partner to stabilize our ankles, which can prevent one from doing this exercise. In the video below I will show you how you can use standard equipment in most gyms to perform the Nordic Curl without needing a partner.
Place your ankles underneath the bench. Put your arms across your chest and keep your back straight. Slowly lower yourself as far as you can go down and then catch yourself at the bottom to help assist you coming back up. To progress this exercise try to come back up without the assistance of your arms.
The Low Trap Stability Ball Exercise is an exercise that works on both strength and balance of the scapulae. This exercise strengthens the lower trapezius and other scapula depressors. Additionally, it challenges the individual’s motor control. As we know, the evidence has shown how important the scapula is in rehabilitation. By challenging the scapula stabilizers and strengthening the commonly weak scapula depressors, clinicians can use this exercise to progress the patient’s rehabilitation program.
Sit on the end of a bench. Place two stability balls of equal height directly behind the bench. With your back facing the stability balls, place each hand on a stability ball. Keeping an upright position, press into the balls with each hand by depressing your shoulders/scapulae. Hold the contracted position for a count of 7-10 seconds. When coaching this exercise make sure to look for substitutions of hyperextension at the low back or substitution of the triceps.