“Hey man, how’re your workouts coming along?”
Are you getting any stronger?
“No, not really. I’m taking some time off because my shoulder is acting up again”
I hear this way too often from avid gym goers and athletes. The sad reality is that most people don’t know how to address basics of shoulder health.
First off let me just throw it out there that if you cannot perform 10 body weight pull-ups and can bench more than your body weight you probably are on the debilitating road to shoulder injury.
Your Push:Pull ratio in your workouts should be at the very least 1:2. For example alternate these exercises:
6reps x 3sets of 1 arm dumbbell bench press
6 reps x 6 sets of dumbbell chest supported row.
Do 6 reps of DB 1 arm bench press with the LEFT arm, then right after do 6 reps of chest supported row. Right after go back to the 1 arm DB bench press for 6 reps on the RIGHT arm.
This back and forth eliminates wasted time sitting around between sets by working on the opposite muscle group as well as obtaining the 1:2 Push:Pull ratio I was talking about earlier.
The reason that it is so important to maintain this type of ratio is to achieve some sort of equilibrium. Chances are your probably not balanced front to back. So it doesn’t hurt to be pulling a bit more than your pushing to even out all the days you spent hunched over a desk .
After all, if your injured you are not only useless to your team, but your physical progress will come to a screeching halt since you can’t do jack with a bum shoulder!
The best possible thing to do is get the muscles of your mid-back working efficiently, stretch your pecs and lats, and look into some thoracic mobility drills along with scapular mobility/stability exercises.
Here’s a video my good friend Kevin Carr put up that include a terrific thoracic mobility, shoulder mobility/stability exercise and an upper body power exercise.
When I was about 16-17 years old I had the misfortune of dislocating my shoulder along with tearing a bunch of ligaments in there as well. After the excrutiating pain of the dislocation and rehab process I was fortunate enough to pick up some pretty nasty tendonitis along the way (I hope you detect that sarcasm). Being an avid hockey player and paying competitively it was beyond brutal to watch my team play from the stands but moreover not being able to do anything.
The only way around this hardship is to be prepared through and through. And this is where the mobility/stability work came into my life.
Im going to be honest with you – I like to lift up heavy stuff and then put it down. I walk around with heavy stuff and push and pull whatever I can find and then do some sprints. All in all I love to workout and push my body to its limits but I wouldn’t be able to progress if i didn’t injury proof my joints. There is simply no other way around it. Hip mobility is just as important as shoulder mobility and thoracic spine mobility is the connector in between the two that can sure-up either or.
My favorite shoulder mobility/stability exercise is by far ‘wallslides’ (as you saw Kevin do above) or amongst the majority of people ‘floorslides’ – Wallslides is just the most advanced phase of the movement and floorslides accounts for the first 2 phases. Unfortunately I see ‘trainers’ brutalize this movement with no idea what they are trying to improve.
Here are the two video’s of the floor slides..
..and wall slides once again performed flawlessly by Coach Kev Carr.
So now you have the secrets of making those shoulders of yours super and unbreakable.
Now go pull some weight!