CrossFit Discussion Board  

Go Back   CrossFit Discussion Board > CrossFit Forum > Fitness
CrossFit Home Forum Site Rules CrossFit FAQ Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Fitness Theory and Practice. CrossFit's rationale & foundations. Who is fit? What is fitness?

Thread Tools
Old 03-29-2006, 02:13 PM   #1
Joseph Hart
Member Joseph Hart is offline
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Lino Lakes  MN
Posts: 282
I just got done reading the Active shoulder article in CFJ 37 and the Body Awareness article by Roger. What is the active shoulder for pullups and rowing? There are pictures in the CFJ and the overhead pressing and dips seem easy enough to understand, but I am not getting the others. For pullups and rowing should the shoulders be in the ears or pulled down?


  Reply With Quote
Old 03-29-2006, 02:49 PM   #2
Garrett Smith
Member Garrett Smith is offline
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Tucson  AZ
Posts: 2,264
I believe the basic concept of the "active shoulder" is to do the opposite of what the resistance is trying to do to your shoulder if you relaxed it. It's not just an up and down thing, it's also a forward-protracted/backward-retracted thing.

Handstands, overhead presses--shoulders to ears.
Dips, pullups--shoulders depressed.
Rowing--shoulders (scapulae) retracted.
Pushups--shoulders (scapulae) protracted.
DLs--shoulders retracted and depressed.

To see what an active shoulder is in any exercise (be smart and careful with this, don't be dumb and blame me!), just get in position and play with relaxing the shoulder girdle, then move your shoulders in the opposite direction that they went when you relaxed them. That's the active shoulder for that exercise.

Note that someone (Tyler Hass, I believe) on the forum tried utilizing a non-active shoulder (on purpose, to see what would happen) on a handstand and it didn't end up well. So learn from that.

Now, on this subject, I do know that PLers retract their scapulae during the bench press. I imagine that this is only possible and desirable d/t the bench being there and the restricted ROM. If someone was free-standing and doing a press away from their body in a similar plane as the bench press (for an easy example, on the Hammer Jammer, I would assume that they would be stronger and safer with an active (protracted) shoulder girdle.

Some others, like Scott Sonnon, appear to think that the shoulder should always be retracted and depressed (the "closed packed" position), even on overhead exercises. At least that's what I've seen from his work, I could be wrong. After my own experimentation, I don't believe he is correct.

Any other comments on Joe's question or my interpretation of the active shoulder are welcome...
  Reply With Quote

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Active Shoulders Richard Paul Ham-Williams Exercises 4 01-31-2007 03:02 AM
Static-active stretching Colin Gorman Exercises 4 12-22-2006 07:42 AM
Front Lever - Active Shoulder John D Wilson Exercises 12 06-13-2006 05:44 AM
3 Active one day rest pattern Thomas Klevecz Workout of the Day 6 12-02-2005 10:29 AM
Active recovery? Jason Horton Fitness 2 09-24-2004 10:59 AM

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:23 PM.

CrossFit is a registered trademark of CrossFit Inc.