If there is one joint that we as trainers hear people complain about often, it’s the shoulders!!! Complaining maybe isn’t the right word, but this joint tends to get easily aggravated and inflamed from common daily movement since we live in a world where technology keeps us hunched forward at all times. This past weekend’s pressing/pulling clinic was a big success and allowed us to help some members work through their “junky” shoulder issues and learn some new tips and mobility tricks to allow their bodies to get in better position in class so they can continue to gain strength AND stay pain free!
Here are the biggest tip takeaways if you missed out on this one:
1. We are always “using” chest and back muscles in both pressing and pulling movements. We want to actively think about using both muscle groups as we move the weight in both directions. On bench press, think about pulling the bar towards your chest and pushing it away from you.
2. Constantly work on shoulder protraction and retraction before and after class. (If you’re like huh, what??? These is scapular pushups or pull-ups we often do in a warm-up.) Never done these? Flag down a coach and ask next time in class. These allow us to have more access and strength to stabilize our shoulder blades, activate our lats and hold nice active shoulders, so we are then ready for movement.
3. Elbow placement is key! Elbows should be at a 45 degree angle in a bench press, pushup etc. Elbows should be almost in line or in front of the bar in a BB press. If you cannot actually get your body into this position, work on external rotation mobility exercises. Don’t know any or not sure if you fall into this category- head to our FB page for mobility tips and ask a coach next time in class!!! (The super front rack band stretch in video below is a great place to start!)
4. Keep shoulders back and down. Try to always keep a proud chest and roll shoulders back. This is for ALL pressing and pulling movements. This keeps shoulders in natural alignment and ready to do work safely. 🙂
5. MOST important. If you ever don’t understand a cue given by a coach in class OR if you notice your body cannot get into position the coaches are asking you to get into, MOBILITY exercises should be your new best friend. These will increase proper ROM and help decrease pain, which contributes in increased strength- a win-win!!!