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Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Upper Body Corrective Exercise and Sample Routine

Brent Brookbush

Brent Brookbush


**Upper-body Dysfunction: Corrective Exercise and Sample Routine


By Brent Brookbush DPT, PT, MS, PES, CES, CSCS, ACSM H/FS

Typical Findings During Movement Assessment:

Overhead Squat Assessment:


  • Limited Shoulder Internal Rotation (Less than 70°)
  • Limited Shoulder External Rotation (Less than 90°)
  • Limited Shoulder Flexion (Less than 185° -scapula unsupported, Less than 150° scapula stabilized)
  • Limited Cervical Lateral Flexion (Less than 35°)

Specific Flexibility:

Strength Assessment:

  • Core compensation (Abdominal Distension)
  • Shoulder IR compensation (Scapular Anterior Tipping)
  • Shoulder ER weakness and/or Compensation (Shoulder Abduction)
  • Lower Trap weakness and/or compensation (Scapular Elevation)
  • Mid Trap weakness and/or compensation (Scapular elevation, shoulder abduction)

Typical length change and motor behavior of involved musculature:

Short/Overactive (Release and Stretch):

Underactive (Activate and Integrate):

For a complete analysis of Upper Body Dysfunction check out this article - Upper Body Dysfunction

Brookbush Institute – Integrated Warm-up/Corrective Exercise Template:

  1. Release
  2. Mobilize (When appropriate)
  3. Stretch
  4. Isolated Activation
  5. Core Support (Optional)
  6. Stability Integration (Optional)
  7. Reactive Integration (Optional)
  8. Subsystem Integration

It is the intent of the Brookbush Institute that the human movement professional will artfully select exercises from the appropriate progressions to create a workout that has an immediate impact on the quality of movement and “feels-like” a warm-up. To create this effect it is important to choose at least one exercise for each modality, that each exercise can be done in quick succession (without rest), and creates a program of exercises that increases in intensity from “Activated Isolation to Whole Body Exercise.” Be careful not to rely too heavily on unilateral exercises as this will decrease intensity. The result is a sophisticated approach to exercise selection that can improve the quality of movement while maintaining the intensity of a general warm-up.

It is not uncommon for a new client to feel like a significant amount of work has been accomplished at the end of the integrated warm-up, especially when the sequence is repeated 2-3 times. Further, it is not uncommon for Brookbush Institute faculty to solely utilize the “Integrated Warm-Up template” as the initial phase of training, or in periods between high-intensity training.

Exercise Repertoire:

Upper Body Self Administered Release Techniques Playlist:

Upper Body Mobilization Playlist:

Upper Body Static Stretching Playlist:

Upper Body Activation Techniques:

Core Integration Playlist:

Upper Body Integration Playlist:

Typical Integrated Warm-Up/Corrective Exercise Routine:

Note: All exercises are linked to video

Release (Hold each for 30 -120 seconds or until a release is felt):

Mobilization (Hold until release is felt):

**Stretch *(Hold each for 30 -120 seconds or until a release is felt):***

Isolated Activation (10-20 reps, 1-3 sets, form is more important than load):

Core Support (10-20 reps, 1-3 sets, form is more important than load):

Reactive Integration (10-20 reps, 1-3 sets, form is more important than load):

Subsystem Integration (10-20 reps, 1-3 sets, form is more important than load):

Note: You may perform the exercises from "Isolated Activation" to "Subsystem Integration" in circuit (no rest in-between sets), and perform that circuit 1 - 3 times.

© 2011 Brent Brookbush

Questions, comments, and criticisms are welcomed and encouraged –