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Assessing risk of shoulder injuries+how to strengthen shoulder girdle

Discussion in 'Strength & Conditioning Discussion' started by LZD, Sep 21, 2010.

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  1. LZD Purple Belt

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    I have a few questions. I have had what was 'possibly' shoulder tendonitis of the suprasinatus before, and so I am paranoid of running into problems again.

    I am running on the broad assumption that activities which use the shoulder make it stronger provided there is enough time for recovery. But I also assume that if there isn't enough time for recovery, they may make it more susceptible to injury.

    All of the re-hab/pre-hab information I can find on the internet, including that which I got from my physio, emphasise higher reps with low weights. e.g. front/lat raise, lying external rotations with pink dumbbells, and other exercises and stretches using pulley systems.


    Question:

    1. Does increasing your raw shoulder strength in movements such as push press, military press, standing/seated overhead and DB press have a place in reducing the chances a shoulder will be re-injured? Or is the stress/recovery time, whilst presenting a low risk, nevertheless increasing your risk, rather than decreasing it?

    Is increasing raw shoulder strength, something which presents a shorter term risk (ie, period of time in which your shoulder must repair) but long-term benefits for girdle stability, and less chance of acquiring some tendonitis, acl, or other joint problems?
     
  2. miaou barely keeping it together

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    The main factors predisposing to shoulder injuries/overuse are muscular imbalances and muscle activation issues (in the rotator cuff, the entire upper body, and the entire body), improper scapular mobility (which is usually related to improper thoracic spine mobility), compensation patterns, improper lifting technique, bad overall posture, and even plain-old shitty genetics (a type III acromion can predispose to injuries in overhead pressing). These things can be interconnected; for instance, improper activation of your glutes can eventually lead to imbalances up the kinetic chain that can place your shoulders in greater risk of injury.

    Best thing you can do for long-term shoulder health, is have a postural assessment and work to properly address any postural issues. Other than that, "rotator cuff maintenance" (simple external and internal rotations with proper form) can help with proper RC activation and a lot of full ROM pulling (with full scapular retraction) can help avoid upper body imbalances. A knowledgeable chiropractor/physiotherapist should be able to assess (and help address) any muscle activation issues and imbalances.
     
  3. MASShole Get it?

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    ^^^ agreed.

    Many people do external/internal rotations, cross body movements and more with terrible shoulder location and improper form. Learning how to feel where your scapula should be is a huge asset.

    I have learned to think about having a "soft upper trap" and depressed scapula. This way, I'm not shrugging my scapula up/back, but instead I'm putting it into proper alignment. It takes some time to get used to the less weight you're doing, but there's much less pain involved.
     
  4. Oktavius** Brown Belt

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    Great post. Ive been through hell with shoulders/blades,back. Follow this advice and start by getting your posture and movement checked out by a physio/sports therapist who knows his shit.
     
  5. PCP Guest

    So let me get this straight -- you had some minor tendonitis in your shoulder, and now you are OCD about any kind of possible shoulder problem that might arise from doing shoulder exercise? I don't see any reason why you can't do heavy pressing.

    I also think shoulder tendonitis has absolutely nothing to do with your posture, and everything to do with shitty form. I don't think you need to spend money on a doctor, you need to find out how to perform these lifts correctly. Unfortunately the internet is filled with mostly terrible and incorrect advise, so I would suggest finding an experienced powerlifter, strongman, or olympic lifter in your area and learning under him.
     
  6. LZD Purple Belt

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    If I had tendonitis it was not weight-training related. There's also a chance I just had a strain. My sports physio suggested that posture may have contributed to my susceptibility of either.

    My main question is as to the extent that heavy pressing will make me more susceptible to shoulder injuries, and I am wondering if it will decrease my chances, or if it's just irrelevant.

    For me weight training is complementary to MMA. I just want to stay injury free.
     
  7. PCP Guest

    It should decrease your chances of shoulder injury. Heavy pulling and upper back/rear delt work may be even more useful to you.
     
  8. Oktavius** Brown Belt

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    Trust me dude the 2 go hand in hand. If you have shitty posture there is a good chance you naturally do shitty lifts. With shoulder tendonitis (bursitis) is often caused by poor shoulder blade movement and people with round shoulders/stooped posture will be especially susceptible to this while overhead pressing.
     
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