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Shoulder Extension means to be able to bring your arms behind your body. Often people confuse the shoulder flexion and shoulder extension.
- Dropping down into a narrow elbow dips is a shoulder extension,
- so is chambering the hand on the ribs for a karate style punch.
Being able to stretch the shoulder abductors and extensors, as well as scapula inferior rotators allows the arm to come up to at least vertical line. In many cases more than 180 degree is needed, in throwing sports for example, such as javelin, football and baseball. Same applied to serves in volleyball and rocket sports.
Since a downward arm movement is very powerful, many muscles work in various ranges. They all need to be stretched properly. Majority of athletes try to get the overhead movement by pulling the arm overhead or worst behind the head, as hard as they can. This is rather painful and more often than not causes chronic inflammation in various tissues, including biceps tendon and suprispinatus tendon.