The shoulder joint is a very unique joint. It has more range of motion than any other joint in your entire body and because of that it requires more stability than any other joint in your entire body.
The first thing your need to know about shoulder pain is, “proximal stability, leads to distal mobility.” Max Shank. What that means is if your trunk (abdominals, obliques, lats, glutes, hip flexors) is weak, you can experience shoulder pain simply because these muscles aren’t functioning properly. This is very important for people who do CrossFit because CrossFit by large doesn’t work the obliques (twisting) and lats (bending) as much as it works other muscle groups in the trunk. Something that I’m noticing now after years of coaching is that athletes are lacking seriously in these muscle groups, this is something we are programing to fix but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t attack issues on your own.
-Start adding in some very basic trunk twists and trunk bends with a PVC pipe as soon as you get to the gym. I’ve been doing up to 100 reps of each 1-2 times a week and I’ve eliminated my shoulder discomfort.
-Also, doing single arm Kettle bell overhead carries, waiter carries (front rack) and single arm farmer carries are great ANTI rotational exercises that will also work these muscle groups.
-If nothing else you’re going to have a super sick six pack after adding these things in.
Ok so that takes care of stability, what about mobility. These exercises worked for me because I have no mobility restrictions, that doesn’t mean they won’t help you, but any restrictions must be addressed. In all honesty before you workout basic arm swings, arm circles, PVC pass throughs, goofy PVC pass throughs are a great way to increase range of motion and control dynamically, then after your workout, take a band throw it on the rig and lightly stretch that shoulder joint in all directions you know how. Below I’ll tag a couple of videos to get you started on these mobility exercises. Just remember, like anything in the gym FLEXIBILITY TAKES TIME, YOU HAVE TO DO THESE THINGS EVERYDAY FOR A WHILE TO SEE CHANGES. As always if you have debilitating pain that won’t go away, seek professional help, in our last blog entry we have tagged some professionals we know and trust.
Come see me with questions.