Mike Reinold recently had a post about the sleeper stretch - a stretch that is commonly prescribed to increase glenohumeral internal rotation ROM. Mike discusses how the sleeper stretch actually is more likely to stretch the posterior capsule. With the frequency instability is seen in the clinic, increasing that instability with capsular stretching should not be a goal of ours. In fact, if you take a step back you might realize that the sleeper stretch looks very similar to the Hawkins-Kennedy Impingement test (just on it's side). Any time an exercise is the same motion as a provocative test, we should rethink the reasoning behind that exercise, especially with how overly aggressive patients can be with this particular exercise. Finally, Mike also discusses the instances where the sleeper stretch may actually be appropriate (young athletes that don't have anyone to stretch them and people that truly have posterior capsule tightness) and provides a video/explanation of how to properly perform the motion, along with alternatives to the exercises. Check it out!
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