Shoulder Flexibility

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I need some more ideas for shoulder flexibility. I have a couple girls that are just having a hard time. They are as flexible as an oak tree. It's really affecting their back handsprings and back walkovers on beam.

What do you guys do for shoulder flexibility? Some of the stretches I normally do just don't work...these girls are so inflexible that they can't even get into the correct position to do the stretch.:(
Have the girls go on their knees. Then , pulling on their elbows, crossing their arms until they say stop when their shoulders don't go any further. Alos, you can raise their arms up towards their head.

Have them lay on their baks. Interlocking their hands, have them slide their arms behind them as far as they can with thier knees bent and hold it. Then have them slowly straighten their legs.

Have them do a brodge with their head facing a wall. Tell them to try to touch their arms to the wall, with their legs straight and together.

Skin the cats are always good too! Sorry if you've already tried all these! :)
I do not know how old the girls are you are teaching, but for a different approach to shoulder flexibility and strength you might want to try the power bands. They are long rubber bands and there are a multitude of stretches you can do on them and the girls could do at home over a door frame. They come in all diffferent tensions to progress from easy to hard. They are inexpensive. My son had to do them for pitching and he improved his shoulder flexibility and strength in a very short time. Sorry I do not have specific exercises/stretches with the bands, but I think you probably know more about that than I do! Good luck.
Thanks to both of you...great ideas. Anyone else have any?
Add partner stretches into your workout.

1) Have one girl sit in a pike with her arms straight up by her ears, have the second girl put her arms in between the raised arms and around to the shoulder blades and pull up and back.

2) Have the girl sitting in the pike put arms out straight with palms facing forward and then have the partner slowly pull the arms back keeping them at shoulder height. When they are back as far as the gymnast can go have her lean into the pike with the partner slowly lifting the arms.

3) Have the seated gymnast puts her hands on the back of her head, and the partner will pull back from the elbows with her knee placed in between the shoulder blades.

When first doing partner stretches its important to monitor the girls closely and remind them they should always be pulling softly, and communicate when to stop pulling. There are other variations that can be done with the gymnast lying on her stomach as well.
I think you guys just about covered all of the stretches that i can think of for shoulders. You could have the gymnast hang on the high bar in whip shape then stretch their shoulders by pushing them forward while holding their body so that it stays in the place. My coach used to do this one and it felt sooooo good.
another idea for shoulder flexiblilty

One thing I've found that helps is if you take two five pound hand weights, have the gymnast hold one in each hand, then have him/her lay backwards over an octagon with their arms up all the way over their head right by their ears. Feet stay on the floor and they just lay like that in a stretched position and hold it for a good 5 minutes at least. It really really stretches the shoulders out; I've done it myself and you can feel it.
Shoulder flexibility is almost always an issue with most boys and I use partner stretches with pretty good success. You have to invest a lot of time teaching them to do them correctly -then you have to get them to do it religiously every practice. Improvement is slow, but you can see it by the end of the season. Oh yeah... PNF style stretching works well for shoulders -be gentle though.
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I have a couple of kids who have decent flexibility when performing a bridge and can do decent back walkovers, but they're still tight in the shoulders. When they lay on their back and press their arms backwards to the floor, they arch and the ribs come out.

I've concluded that they have tight lats and that's the root of the problem. A bridge really doesn't stretch the lats when you analyze the shape of the muscle and it's line of pull. So, I'd recommend incorporating some stretching specifically for the lats. That's what I'm going to begin doing as I can't figure out what else could be creating the problem. If you do a search on the web, you should be able to find a more specific lat stretch.

Good Luck.

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