Workout of the Week - Week Thirteen

To keep with the superstition of week thirteen we're going to cover one of the unluckiest joints in the body, the shoulder. Shoulder issues are plentiful and diverse covering a range equal to that of the joint itself. No matter what sport or activity you choose, the shoulder is bound to play a pivotal role in your ability to perform. 

There are numerous ways of strengthening the shoulder that dive deeper than adding more overhead presses into your routine. There is a lot going on to keep you're shoulder moving correctly, you can experience this by performing an arm circle and feeling what moves. Is your scapulohumeral rhythm a smooth 160 bpm? Do you feel your ribs flair? Is your lumbar spine over extending? Are your trapezius muscles over compensating for weak rhomboids?  Are your teres minor and subscapularis friends or enemies? Hopefully they're friends but you never know with rotator cuffs these days. 

I know many of you, including myself, have spent hours working rotator cuff exercises only to fall victim to the same tweaks and twinges. Continue to do these exercises but start to think about shoulder function (or dysfunction) as needing more than just a few pull aparts at the beginning of a workout. Lets also think about volume and load when it comes to these exercises. 

Two notes on volume and load. Don't perform these exercises heavy and don't perform to failure. If we're working an inherently weak muscle group before exercise why take it to failure? The burn is your enemy in the warm up, we don't want to weaken a muscle that is already struggling. We also don't want to overload it, this will result in the larger muscles taking over as prime movers. Stick to lower reps and lighter loads with a more controlled tempo focusing on your position and stability and not weight! Also keep in mind your plans for activity on or the day after you do a lot of shoulder work. If you plan to do 2 miles of open water swimming, don't hit 60 minutes of a shoulder workout that morning or even the day before. If your shoulder is already angry don't push its buttons, give it space. 

On to the workout. Yes, I made a joke about bands and pull aparts and now I'm telling you to do them. Some of these workouts serve as a great warm up and some are better suited as independent auxiliary exercises during your workouts. The trick with any of these is to focus on smooth controlled motions while focusing on the shoulder complex and not what your hands are doing. 

1. Band Internal + External Rotations 2 x 8 Reps 

2. Band Pull Aparts 2 x 12 Reps 

3. Quadruped Protractions + Retractions 2 x 8 Reps Each - Focus on you breathing and core bracing while in the Quadruped Position 

4. Wall Slides/ Floor Slides - 2 x 12 Reps - Focus on good even pressure into the wall or floor 

5. Y,T,Is 2 x 8 Ea 

6. Wall Clocks  2 x 6 Ea - Focus on keeping a good plus position, this means keeping yourself pushed away from the wall with scapular protraction.

Bonus - Tri-Pod Push-Pull

- This can be scaled down by starting in a quadruped position with both knees on the ground 

As always, if you have any questions feel free to contact me at Patrick.Morris@podiumsportsmed.com 

Thanks for Reading, 

Pat