Active vs packed shoulders

Discussion in 'Strength & Conditioning Discussion' started by nhbfan8080, Aug 10, 2017.

  1. nhbfan8080 Black Belt

    nhbfan8080
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    Should be shoulder scapular/humeral position be 'packed' for overhead presses and pullups or should it be 'active'?

    http://www.markpieciak.com/2013/12/active-shoulders-vs-packed-shoulders/

    Refer to the pic in the link below:
    http://thepullupsolution.com/blog/how-to-save-your-shoulders-with-deadhang-pull-ups
    I think the active pull up bottom position should be activating the lats and not just letting the shoulder capsule doing most of the work.

    I'm having a shoulder problem (one side) and can't do any ohp at the moment. The only pressing exercise I can do is close grip bench with moderate weight 10-16 reps. Doing accessory exercises daily as rehab.
     
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  2. ripskater Steel Belt

    ripskater
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    Packed shoulder training is a recipe for bad shoulders. The scapula should be able to glide properly over the ribcage. That is what a healthy shoulder does.
     
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    Last edited: Aug 10, 2017
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  3. dsdoubled Purple Belt

    dsdoubled
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    I have tried both and have had shoulder problems. I feel like it should be a sort of combo between the 2. For OHP I say your shoulders should be mostly active but u still want to maintain a stable shoulder girdle. For overhead pulling movements its the opposite. Shoulders blades retracted and slightly depressed. Your body kinda teaches you whats right over time. Where is your pain? I have spent so much time on shoulder problems both in school and in my own life I am pretty sure I can help.
     
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  4. ripskater Steel Belt

    ripskater
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    I have heard on pullups your shoulder blades should be initiating the movement of the pullup. Some guys do exercises directly for that. I may find it later.
     
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  5. dsdoubled Purple Belt

    dsdoubled
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    Based on everything I know, yes its true that the pulldown type movements start with the scapula. But too many people misunderstand that and let the scapula really flare/stretch at the bottom of the movement. This is not ideal. The beginning of any pulldown type move should be initiating the muscles that retract and depress the scapula. Think of it as kind of a reverse shrug. This is a pretty good visual
     
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  6. Sano Brown Belt

    Sano
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    I think "packing" your shoulder makes the most sense, and clinically it seems to work the best as well. The scapula does upwardly rotate even when the shoulders are "packed". They might not do it as aggressively as with active shoulders, but they do rotate. At the same time, "packing" your shoulders creates a posterior tilt of the scapula, outwardly rotates the glenohumeral joint and changes the line of direction of the force transfer slighly. All of these things actually helps create subacromial space and most importantly, the shoulder is a lot more stable that way.

    The reason I put packed in qoutation is because you can pack and depress it exaggeratedly with the lats which does hinder the overhead position, or you can pack it the "right" way with the lower trap and serratus primarily.

    Ultimately it depends on the exercise, and you need to practice movements with full upward rotation and abduction of the scapula as well. Everything has its place. Hanging deadhang from a bar though can be increase pain in some people. Finding the right grip width is another thing that can make or break pullups for people with shoulder issues.
     
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  7. dsdoubled Purple Belt

    dsdoubled
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    Good point. Lower traps, serratus, and rhomboids are probably at the top of the list of the most neglected muscles that have the biggest impact if underdeveloped. I think its because working them is rather technical, tedious, and unimpressive to onlookers. They get worked with many of the basic upper body lifts but to correct imbalance and injury you really gotta get in there with the spec exercises. Hanging from a chin up bar as a means to improve shoulder health seems to me to only be viable for people already with a good deal of upper body strength and healthy shoulders. A prehap exercise. But for those with injuries it would be much more effective to do isometric versions of the Y-T-I series standing against the wall. You can really focus on the right muscles, maintain perfect thoracic posture, and do good work.
     
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  8. Sano Brown Belt

    Sano
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    Personally I like other variations than the Y-T-W-L/I, especially the standing ones. I feel like they are too challenging to get right for beginners. It's very hard to disassociate the descending part of the traps and levator when doing them, and unfortunately that's an issue for a lot of people. Isometrics is a good way to teach it though.

    Prone versions of the Y and T with slightly altered range of motion (the trap is a postural muscle so it's less "switched on" when you have them in a prone position I find), low rows, wall slide variations (bands, rollers, adjust ROM) and other band exercises I find a tad easier to apply and use as a teaching tool.
     
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  9. ripskater Steel Belt

    ripskater
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    I'll tell you what feels good on my left shoulder. Holding a kettle bell locked out over head.

    Also laying on my right side holding the kettle bell up. I'm sideways though.

    @Sano, I can feel muscles under my shoulder blade work using that kettlebell. I'm weak there and I think that movement is inhibited a bit.
     
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  10. Badger67 Taxidea taxus

    Badger67
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    This is also why i prefer black burns complex.
     
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