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Mobility: "Scare Crow"

Scare Crow-1    Scare Crow-2

OBJECTIVE: Open shoulders big time!

  1. Stand upright and bring upper arms out parallel to ground.  Your upper arms should be at right angles, or 90,  to your shoulders.  Arms will have a "L" shape if in correct position.

  2. Rotate one forearm straight up and the other forearm straight down.  Each elbow should have a 90 angle.

  3. Rotate each arm into the opposite position without dropping elbows and while maintaining a 90 angle in each elbow as you alternate.

  4. Perform 8-10 reps on each side.

Exercise Figure Tips: The key with this one is to keep the elbows up and at 90  angles--or as close to 90  as possible.  Do NOT drop your elbows just to get more rotation!  It is best to have a limited range of motion rather than drop the elbows and compensate for your tight shoulders.

  • This one is actually part of the Shoulder Matrix #1 that I do for strength but just doing them without dumbbells is a great mobility exercise for those that have tight shoulders.  The Scare Crow is kick-ass HARD to do with proper form!  I've seen strong guys wince in humility from their lack of mobility during this movement.  Maintain quality and form and ye shall reap the benefits of functional shoulder mobility!

  • For many people, their locked up shoulders make it impossible to initially handle the Scare Crow; if you have problems keeping your arms and elbows in alignment, try the easier Standing 'L' mobility exercise which is the same thing but only one arm at a time.

  • I learned the Scare Crow originally from NASM trainer/guru friend Jade Molina--thanks Jade!

  • Mobility Exercises (Directions)
  • Mobility Exercises (Organizer List Only)

*Note: This exercise is intended for "normal healthy" individuals.  If you have an injury, or abnormal pain is present,
see your physician or a certified physical therapist before continuing your exercises. 

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(Updated 1-25-06)

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