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Exercises Movements, technique & proper execution

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Old 05-10-2007, 02:43 AM   #1
Gorm Laursen
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Since I have signed up for the mentality of Always Working Your Weakest Link, I've decided to begin working hard on the overhead squat. I have referred from the OHS earlier on, since I get severely 'sleeping' shoulders from it, but have now decided to work my way through ...

Untrained I can work up to 4 reps at 1/2 bw but no matter how low weight I use – even broom stick – my shoulders (especially the right one) starts to become paralyzed and it often lasts for a day or two. The numbing feeling run from the elbow and well unto the traps almost until the neck.

Form is not perfect, but pretty good. Shoulder well tucked up, back's curved as much as possible, decent squatting width (I'm long-legged), bar's always alligned to center both vertical and horizontal. I have experienced with different grip width. Optimal width seems to be slightly wider than shoulders.

I've deviced a theoretical cure of lots of turkish getups, db snatches and press variations, but I cannot execute it in real life, as my shoulders needs to be rested to do OHS, and when I'm done with OHS, I literally cannot press more than 10 kgs for the next coming 24 hours even though my PR in shoulder press are 67.5 kgs.

So here's the question: What's the cure, as you see it?
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Old 05-10-2007, 05:34 AM   #2
Christopher Fall
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With out getting overly technical it sounds like you having some form of shoulder impingement with your OHS. You may cause some long term neural damage if you continue with your current routine. I would discontiue the OHS until you have been evaluated by a Doc/PT.
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Old 05-10-2007, 09:26 PM   #3
Wayne Nelson
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I see shoulder problems rather commonly with the people I work with. The cause very often is insufficient stabilization from the rotator cuff, ineffective shoulder blade positioning and control, or short and tight muscles.

Sources of entrapment: The pectoral minor muscle, which rolls your shoulder forward and when stretched can impinge on the nerves that you describe, or it could happen at your neck. Because symptoms come only when you are in an overhead position for a period of time, my guess is the former. Other contributing causes could be a lack of mobility of upper back (not enough extension), chin poking (neck involvement), limited flexibility of the pec muscles or improper stabilization of your shoulder blade.

Over head lifts place a very high demand on the stabilizing elements of the shoulder. So this is when problems begin to surface. Often stability is forgotten during training. Who wants to do shoulder rotation exercises or push-up pluses when there are more exciting things to do?

Key elements to consider in rehab (or preventing problems) are strength, reactivating proper firing sequence of the stabilizers, then reprogramming these changes into the nervous system so they become automatic. Inadequate or inefficient stabilization of the shoulder are either the root causes or contributing factors of a large amount of shoulder problems.

The solution (and prevention) to shoulder problems do not fall under the umbrella of CrossFit. This stuff stems from rehab and ends with specific performance training and can be very challenging. Exercises used for shoulder rehabilitation can span the gamut from scapular sets with resisted external rotation to sideways m-ball tosses, from PU+ (Pushups on your elbows, keep your back straight and don’t poke your chin) to single arm pushup on a gymball to PU jumps onto a Bosu, and beyond.

At this stage I would recommend push-up + (push all the way up), a resisted scapular depression exercise like straight arm dips (using only your shoulder blades, and squeezing them together at the top of the push), resisted shoulder internal and external rotation.

Begin the external rotation movement by setting your shoulder blade down and back (“In your back pocket.” “The opposite pocket!”) before pulling out to the side. Do these initially with elbow at your side (don’t pull away from your side). Start at 2.5#. Absolute maximum weight: 10 pounds. Fatigue occurs here when you feel pain, cannot perform correctly or don’t feel it in the back of your shoulder. We are training the movement here, not the muscle, so do a lot of reps (sets of 10-15/side), of low weights, methodically separating the movements. After you have done 500 or so you can think of blending the two parts to flow together and increasing the weight a pound or two.

I hope that helps. If you want picts let me know.
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Old 05-10-2007, 11:54 PM   #4
Gorm Laursen
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Thank you SO much, doc! I'll refrain from any OHS until I've worked my way well through your recommendations. I might ask for pictures, if something's not clear when I start to execute ...

Once again, thanks ...
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Old 05-11-2007, 10:54 AM   #5
Christopher Fall
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Doc, great post!
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