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Old 12-25-2007, 06:28 PM   #1
Nick Craig
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Kipping, dips and shoulder problems

I guess I'll post on what has happened just for the record. I suspect there's an area of neglect in crossfit w.r.t. upper body - the plain where you pull towards your chest bringing your shoulders together and down.

Several weeks ago I decided to work exclusively on kipping pullups and dips. My numbers were low, I'm fairly new to CF, wanted to get the warm-up down since it was, after a few months of hard work, really beginning to take flight.

Suffered shoulder pain after three days of kipping and dips (and I was probably pushing very hard, worngly forward in the dips, bouncing a lot on the pullup bar and so on).

The pain went in a day but my left shoulder has now been left with an awful grinding sound. According to the physio the muscle development in my shoulders has gone forward very dispraportionally. My shoulder blades are out of place, too far forward and while i can seperate them impressively, I'm useless at bringing them together.

I'm undergoing a program that the philly baseball players undertake and leaving crossft aside for as long as it takes to get rid of the horrible clicks, props and grinds. I also plan to start rowing every day come the new year.

So a word of warning - if youre new to crossfit and that level of intensity in general, then be very mindful of your shoulders. They're complex structures that I'm having to learn a lot about now. If anyone has had to look into this for a similar reason, then please share some of your more useful pointers.

But, like I said, I reckon crossfit might be guilty of neglecting the plain of movement required to keep those shoulders together. That or more attention needs to be paid to shoulder positioning during the excersises.
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Old 12-25-2007, 06:50 PM   #2
Bryant Yee
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Re: Kipping, dips and shoulder problems

Sorry to hear that, Nick. While CrossFit style exercises aren't new to me, the CrossFit Routine is. My shoulder sounds like yours. Does the clicking/grinding/poppin hurt? Mine doesn't, but it's still disconcerting. I'd imagine if it hurts with all the noise, than somethings up and maybe you need to see the doc. I've had prior dislocations, so this doens't surprise me. There's alot of good info here for shoulders. Check out my thread under Prolotherapy and dislocation. The info from the people here is incredible. Helped me for sure.

Good luck and Merry Christmas,

Bryant
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Old 12-25-2007, 08:17 PM   #3
Travis Hall
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Re: Kipping, dips and shoulder problems

Sounds similar to a problem I had/have in my right shoulder. Weak muscles around the scapula. I don't blame CrossFit, but I do blame neglecting posterior work for a long time before I knew better.

I went to a physio and was given various stretches which helped and also some variations of rowing type movements with bands. This helped but never completely healed it. The grinding has never went away, but the feeling of needing to 'adjust' my shoulder has. I can still aggravate it if Iím not careful, though.

Personally, along with the stretches, I found a healthy amount of overhead work (mostly handstand pushups in my case) has greatly helped. Also performing pulls with a supinated grip instead of prognated. I find prognated in large amounts aggravates the condition. I also find high rep pushups aggravate it.

I am okay with dips, but must do them in front of a mirror to consciously be aware of my right shoulder and focus on keeping it properly recruited.

Another exercise I find helpful is to hang in a row position from rings. Instead of pulling up like a row though, simply work on pulling your scaps together.

Travis.
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Old 12-25-2007, 08:40 PM   #4
Steven Low
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Re: Kipping, dips and shoulder problems

Let's see.. what works the scapular retractors (and depresses the scapulae):

Bench press (retraction & depression): not much of that here
Rowing (any type of horizontal): check.
Oly lifts (retractors): check.
deadlifts (retractors & depression): check.
muscle ups (retractors & depression): check.
upper portions of the pullups (retractors): check.
lower portions of pullups (depression): check.

Okay, so.. in actuality CF actually uses a lot of the exercises that involve scapular retraction. Seems like you might have come into the program from a very anterior and non-retraction program beforehand and then just done a couple WODs from CF that didn't use a lot of them. So there's no worries for most people.. contrary to what you thought. Kind of unfortunate that happened to you but don't think CF caused most of it.. if much of it at all. In fact, I would suspect most CFers are more well balanced than your typical gym goer looking at the physiques of the more elite CFers like Greg, Nicole, etc.

As for anterior-posterior.. again I don't need to go into it too much because you as well as I already know that there is pretty much balanced pulling vs. pulling in CF as opposed to most conventional routines where you have maybe 1 type of rows, 1 type of pullups and then you have like 3 types of bench, dips as well as overhead pressing. So can't argue that either really. Plus half of your typical gym people don't even do deadlifts and less than probably 20% do oly lifts.... so there's no question really that CF is more well balanced.

Sorry about your injury, but you can't really put much if any blame on CF for it.


edit: FYI I obviously come from a gymnastics background which is very anterior dominated.. and a lot of my friends come from regular gym attendence.. which is very anterior dominated.. and other friends come from sports which are again very anterior dominated. There's truly just a few sports that are posterior upper body dominated like rowing and oly lifting. Most of the rest require tons of anterior work. So I'm really not trying to get down on you or anything.. just that CF is probably waaaaay more balanced than you thought and it's probably other factors that messed you up most if not all of the way in the first place.

Last edited by Steven Low : 12-25-2007 at 09:06 PM.
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Old 12-27-2007, 05:36 AM   #5
Nick Craig
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Re: Kipping, dips and shoulder problems

Balanced maybe, fool proof... probably not and I seem to have been a bit of a fool. CF excersises have a great potential to be done imporperly and I'm learning the hard way that the shoulders are very liable to take the brunt of the consequences.

It's NOT nice to hear that some of you haven't been able to resolve these clicks. In my case, there is no pain associated with them. It is just, as I said to my physio, very disconcerting.

I'm coming to realise that I have taught my shoulders to engage all wrong durning some of the excersises and I think the clicks are a symptom of this now bleeding into everyday life.

If I stop CF completely for a long time (working only on the mild streatches and excersises along with completely unrelated things, like core work) does anyone reckon it will all fall back into place as I loose the muscle mass that's been pulling my shoulders forward?
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Old 12-27-2007, 08:34 AM   #6
Corey Duvall
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Re: Kipping, dips and shoulder problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Craig View Post
Balanced maybe, fool proof... probably not


If I stop CF completely for a long time (working only on the mild streatches and excersises along with completely unrelated things, like core work) does anyone reckon it will all fall back into place as I loose the muscle mass that's been pulling my shoulders forward?
It is NOT fool proof, you are correct. But learning the skill of moving your body as it was meant to be is a sometimes hidden but ultimately wonderful virtue of these movements. They are complex and multi-joint, and require specific patterns of movement and muscle recruitment. These techniques are learned only through doing them correctly and repeatedly.

I do not recommend taking time off. It is not a muscle mass problem that will go away with time off. It is a nervous system issue, you need to learn how to move and control your shoulders. I recommend learning to do the movement correctly and practicing them before adding loads.

In my opinion, rubber bands work well for the elderly and those that are severely physically disabled. If shoulder retraction is specifically your problem, I recommend doing the shoulder dislocate stretch, then working on dip supports while pushing your shoulders back and down to spread your chest, do this with static hangs at the top of the pullup position. I suspect these will be very difficult at first, but that you ability to do it will improve.

The recommendation to get involved in the video coaching will be your best bet if there isn't a solid affiliate near you.
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Old 12-27-2007, 09:33 AM   #7
Tom Nguyen
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Re: Kipping, dips and shoulder problems

My experience is the opposite of yours. I came from a the school of bench press and bicep curls (Used to bench 225 at 140lb; never did any pullups etc.) - my shoulders were pretty messed up. My right clicked and my left was very prone to subluxation. Since starting Crossfit, my shoulders feel like they are in the best shape ever. No more weird noises and I have not subluxed my shoulders since I started Crossfit.

Like many have said: It isn't the program, it's the trainee. If you are doing the movements wrong, of course there's a chance you can injure yourself!
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Old 12-27-2007, 12:22 PM   #8
Steven Low
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Re: Kipping, dips and shoulder problems

Peh. Nothing is fool proof. You just have to learn the movements right.. like any sport, discipline, etc.

Non-painful clicking is fine. Try fixing your posture up as well as getting thoracic mobility with good scapulae activation. All this should help with your shoulder capsule and hopefully make the clicking go away. I had some for a while, but after I started getting myself together it went away.

As for retraction of the scapulae.. the shoulder stretching thing Corey described works for getting everything working. If you can try to get on a rower.. a week or so of everyday rowing will help them out a lot with strengthening the rhomboids.
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Old 01-05-2008, 12:34 PM   #9
Nick Craig
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Re: Kipping, dips and shoulder problems

As an aside to this I might just mention something interesting.

Just back from skiing and while my right shoulder isn't nearly as bad as my left, I was making some strange noises. I've been practising bringing my shoulders together which might have helped but the most impressive result came from a high speed fall on my left shoulder. I heard a click on impact. Now almost all of the disconcerting sounds during rotation have disappeared!

One down, one to go. Thanks for the advice everyone. My new years resolution is to learn how to properly engage my shoulders.
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Old 01-10-2008, 11:50 AM   #10
Ryan Blair
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Re: Kipping, dips and shoulder problems

World's best shoulder stability exercise TGU. Had bad shoulders couldn't kip or dip at all nor could I do bench with over 95lbs without alot of pain. After reading about the TGU - see video of Jeff Martone, I've been doing them for 5 months. I'm up to 100lbs, and my shoulder problems have vanished. Kipping and dipping like a fool now. Dipping with weight and kipping too. I owe it to CF and TGU. I would also do the static support on rings or dips, I've benefited from that as well.
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