Get Rid of Back and Shoulder Pain with 2 Basic Exercises

In the last couple years, I honestly can say I have grown more personally and professionally than I ever have. Some of this growth was forced! Which for some reason tends to be the main reason we change as humans. It takes a major life event like a heart attack or major disease. For me, it was the pain. I was dealing with some major issues that finally motivated me to see a doctor and finally get an MRI for some back issues I had been fighting for a while.

Change in a lot of situations has to be FORCED.

This change and growth has been amazing and has had a profound impact on my personal health as well as what we do at premier with our clients. One of the greatest things about our team is the push to constantly grow and learn. There is a constant pursuit to drive change and ultimately have a bigger impact on the people we work with and in our society.

A great article written by our Physical Therapist Michael Kay is a great introduction to our philosophy and what makes us a unique training studio.

These foundations and philosophies are what I credit for getting rid of my back pain. Personally, I have always dealt with some type of back issues. These issues I was told did to some genetic and structural issues I have with my back that I have had for as long as I can remember. The cool thing is that I now wake up with no pain and my back feels better than maybe it has ever felt.

Changing the way I train and embracing a movement practice has been huge for my success with becoming both functional stronger and decreases pain.

The keys are:

  • Committing to a more mindful fitness practice and embracing daily movement.
  • Using movement as a vehicle to positively affect all aspects of your life.
  • Understanding that movement is bigger than you think.
  • Daily movement has a huge positive effect on brain function.
  • Moving the spine daily
  • Stop training only linear, isolated movements.

A huge part of our mission is to educate people about these things and change the way we view fitness in our country and the world. There is a bigger picture!


The day it hit me and my life changed forever.

I will never forget the day. I was in the studio training a long time client and my back went out. I was stuck on the ground in excruciating pain and could not get up! Here I am, a fitness professional that is supposed to be able to help people with these type of issues and I can’t move. My wife had to come pick me up and take me home. I had a lot of mixed emotions. Mad, frustrated, lost, and even embarrassed. I finally made an appointment to see a specialist and still felt lost. What did they tell me? Take this and let’s see what happens. I didn’t get any real hard answers to why it happened. So I decided to take action and ownership of this problem. I wanted to understand as much as I could about the anatomy of the back and what causes back pain. Oh and first I decided to get an MRI. I ended up needing to get two because I had issues with both my cervical and lumbar spine. The MRI showed multiple herniations and disk degeneration at multiple segments.

My issues stemmed from bad movement patterns, poor lifting as a teenager, all the pounding from baseball, golf, wrestling, jumping off buildings and all the other dumb stuff I did as a young adult. Probably the most important cause was the lack of daily movement with my spine. This is my opinion as of the most significant factor and fortunately the one I have the most control over. Fast forward two years and I am the oldest I have ever been and feel the best. I didn’t have to do some magical program or take some special drug. I committed to moving more on a daily basis. This doesn’t mean going to the gym and running on a treadmill or even going to the gym and doing squats. It simply means moving and controlling segmentation of my spine on a daily basis.

This is a beautiful thing!!!!!

Move more, do some pretty basic movement drills, be consistent and bam!!!! Better health!!!!!!

To summarize.

A lot of this understanding and growth comes down to moving more on a daily basis. Move your spine daily and always incorporate some type of play and new movement.

The two exercises in the video below are great basic exercises that we should all do daily to achieve both healthier shoulders and back.

Give them a try.[/fusion_text][youtube id=”UEpyrM5HgW0″ width=”600″ height=”350″ autoplay=”no” api_params=”” class=””][fusion_text]Do these 2 drills everyday for greater shoulder and spine health.

It is important to understand that your training doesn’t have to be intense to be beneficial.

A great quote by Ido Portal “The scapula craves complexity”. This is something I deeply believe in.

In order to get to the complex movements, we first must master the foundations and this is a great place to start.

From the book The Art of Learning by Josh Waitzkin which is a great read. “A chess student must initially become immersed in the fundamentals in order to have potential to reach a high level of skill.” This is true in both health and fitness. We should always start mastering the basics and then move on to the more advanced exercises and movements.

The more you can control and move your scapula the healthier your shoulders will be. This control will have tremendous carry over into your spinal health.

1. The first Movement in the video is a basic scapula car (controlled articular rotation) taught to me by Dr Andreo Spina. The goal is to take one scapula through all its ranges of movement while not moving the rest of your body. So we are disassociating it from the rest of the body. This requires core strength, the ability to create and control tension and body awareness.

2. The 2nd movement is working on both retraction and protraction of the scapulas with thoracic flexion.
The take home of this video is learning to move and control your scapula and move your spine all the time. These drills will lead to better movement, health and the ability to integrate more complex movements together.
Much Love…. And much MOVEMENT!

2 thoughts on “Get Rid of Back and Shoulder Pain with 2 Basic Exercises

    • Brandon Harris says:

      Thank you Suzi! We appreciate the feedback. It is so important for us to continue to educate people about embracing movement as a practice and as a vehicle to have a positive affect on their lives.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.