using the acumobility ball and boomstick and shoulderok to fix shoulder trigger points with Chris Duffin of Kabuki Strength

Vise Technique and Shoulderok Stretegies with Chris Duffin

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Shoulerok: Acumobility Ball Vise Technique from Brad Cox on Vimeo.

In this video Brad Cox from Acumobility and Chris Duffin from Kabuki Strength demonstrate a great sequence for incorporating the Vise Technique/ Active Mobilization and ShoulderokV3 to improve overall shoulder mobility and stability.  If you want more content like this sign up for our monthly educational newsletter here.

The key component of the Vise technique is the compression of muscle tissue from both sides as you go through active range of motion. We have found this to have huge neurological benefit when applied to a restricted area before training. The outcome is generally immediately improved Range of Motion and also increased ability to properly activate the muscle group that was worked.

In this case we are demonstrating how to execute the Vise technique using a Level 2 Acumobility Ball and the ShoulderokV3.   The new head of the ShoulderokV3 is designed specifically to be used as a myofascial release tool. You can also substitute in the Boomstick or another Acumobility ball to apply pressure on the top.  We are excited to have the ShoulderokV3 for sale on our site so if you want one you can pick it up here.

Vise Technique to Lat/ Serratus

Here we are working through Chris’ Lat muscle first.   This helps to improve the contraction and release pattern of the lat muscle. First place the Acumobility Ball under the lat muscle to help create a shelf. Then apply pressure down with the Shoulderok aiming directly towards the Acumobility Ball. (You don’t need to apply a lot of pressure here to get the desired effect and the discomfort level should never be more than 7/10. If you feel a nerve sensation stop and move locations) Reach slowly overhead and repeat 3-5 reps before finding another trigger point.

VISE Technique to Subscap and External rotators

Second we are going to target the Subscapularis muscle and External Rotators of the Shoulder. This muscle is deep on the inside of the armpit on the back of the scapula and is largely responsible for internal rotation of the shoulder. If there are restrictions in this muscle it can negatively impact external rotation/ overhead mobility and proper shoulder packing.

Place the Acumobility ball in the back of the scapula on a trigger point in one of the External Rotator muscles (depending on your specific restrictions you will have to hunt around for the right spot). Next apply pressure with the Shoulderok aiming 45 degrees in towards the back of the scapula (follow the same rules as before for pressure and to avoid the nerves in the area) Now slowly reach overhead 3-5 reps

NOTE: We should emphasize here that more is not better when it comes to mobility work. The key is to create the largest amount of functional change in the least amount of time. If you find yourself having to continually work the same area or mobility is not improving then you are doing something wrong either in your training or you have identified the wrong area to work.

Pec and Biceps Rollout

Next step we are going to address the front of the shoulder using the Ultimate Back Roller. The height and bump pattern on the Ultimate Back Roller make it an awesome tool for rolling out the biceps, pecs and sternal region.

Come into a frog stretch position and then roll up and down the bicept and through the pec for 30-40 seconds while on stretch.

Shoulderok Swings

Finally  we are going to use the ShoulderokV3to lock in the mobility gains and increase core control and shoulder stability. This is one of our favorite tools for overall shoulder health and warm ups because it has immediate and wide ranging effects neurologically.


These secret is in the smooth control and sequence of contract and release while going through the motion. This encourages proper intra abdominal pressure and bracing to prevent rib flare as well as helps to increase proper shoulder packing and improve mobility.  You can see that the key is maintaining proper core activation and intra- abdominal pressure while going through the swing. Note: Keeping the Shoulerok closer to the body helps maintain the smooth transition between positions.

Active Mobilization Key Points

One of the things that we constantly emphasize is that Active Mobilization is just one piece of the puzzle. Think of it as temporarily hacking the nervous system to improve positioning and create an opportunity for a better pattern. But then you need to immediately build on this potential to create that pattern and get those neurological changes to stick.

This is where a tool like the Shoulderokcan be so useful. Building a sequence starting with Active mobility to a restricted area and then bridging to a stability integration drill like Shoulderok swings is an incredible way to increase shoulder mobility while also improving stability. Try this at home as a great warm up before overhead or bench press days.

If you don’t have the tools to do the vise technique you can also look at our extensive library of single tool active mobilization drills on our website.If you want more awesome content like this delivered monthly signup for hour newsletter here(if you don’t get an email within 24 hours check your spam folder and put us on your accepted email list).  In the next couple months we will be dropping some really big announcements on the education front so sign up for the Newsletter if you are interested in learning more.

-Brad Cox (CO- CEO/Founder Acumobility)

You can find more about our partner Chris Duffin and Kabuki Strength Here:


If you have a know shoulder injury or there is pain doing any of these exercises immediately stop and go to a qualified professional who can evaluate and work on you. This technique when not applied by yourself should only be done with somebody who has re requisite training and license to do muscle work.  All of this information is for educational purposes only and Acumobility assumes no responsibility for any injuries occurred or misuse of this education.