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Old 12-10-2004, 05:26 PM   #1
Jason Horton
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for example, even with the broomstick, OH squats are impossible for me due to the fact that the range of motion in my shoulders is terrible. aside from the photo on the main page with the stick, what other stretches can i do on a regular basis to improve this? i barely squeak by with back squats with my ROM. thanks!
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Old 12-11-2004, 06:52 AM   #2
Chris Forbis
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http://www.crossfit.com/cf-coaches/s...article001.htm

I posted this same topic a couple of months ago. The link above helped me immensely.
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Old 12-13-2004, 04:12 AM   #3
Kawika Harbottle
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at t-nation this topic was also written about in a recent article a week or two ago.
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Old 12-13-2004, 08:46 AM   #4
Roger Harrell
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Cat stretch.
Kneel, put your hands on the floor in front of you and press your chest towards the floor.

Bridges!! If you have inflexible shoulders start bridges with your feet up on a mat or something raised so you can get the stretch in your shoulders, not your lower back.

Do handstands against a wall and push your chest open.

Gaining flexibility in the shoulders as an adult can take a lot of time. Be patient, stretch frequently.
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Old 12-22-2004, 05:22 PM   #5
Jeremy Kam
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Does anybody have a picture of the exercise for shoulder flexibility by coach Sommer? I'm having a hard time visualizing how to do it.
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Old 12-22-2004, 05:40 PM   #6
Jonathan Kessler
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I have recently started doing this stretch. Both of my shoulders have been rebuilt (1 this summer, 1 two years ago). I don't have measurements but I am pretty sure this stretch is helping. I am also someone who's front squats are/were limited by my shoulder flexibility. Currently I have to take an exceedingly wide grip but I am starting to be able to do them, which was not even possible as recently as 2 weeks ago.
There is a photo in the archives for December (the Dec 9 workout)
http://www.crossfit.com/mt-archive2/2004_12.html

JK
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Old 12-23-2004, 11:14 AM   #7
Jeremy Kam
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Thanks. Much appreciated.

Any other exercises out there for shoulder flexibility?
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Old 12-23-2004, 11:47 AM   #8
Keith Wittenstein
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Jason

OH Squats present some challenging problems for the inflexible.

Here are a couple of things to keep in mind. First, inflexibility can be the result of two things: tension or compression. Tension is when the muscles are stretched to their limit. Given adequate time and attention, you can increase the length of the muscles. Compression is when bones press on bones. Due to the shape and length of your bones, your joints might reach the limit of their range of motion before other people's and the bones press on the bones and stop your movement. No amount of stretching can change that.

Compression usually applies to people that have done a lot of stretching/yoga/gymnastics but can't seem to get into certain positions no matter how hard they try. The muscles have stretched as much as they can, but you can't seem to get into that perfect shape. It might not apply to you at all, but it is something to keep in mind.

A good test is noticing where you feel pain in the limit of your ROM. For OH Squats, do you feel it in the pecs and anterior delts? Or do you feel it in the top of the shoulder by the acromium process and the top of the humerus? Muscular stress is the sign for tension and bone on bone pain is the sign for compression. This is easier to see on simple joints like the knees and elbows. For example, inability to straighten the legs. Do you feel tension in the hamstring when you try to straighten the leg or do you feel pain under the kneecap?

Another issue for OH squats is the flexibility and ROM of other joints. Are your ankles and hips flexible enough to allow you to get your weight back and carry the weight over your feet? Often people in the squat position are tipped forward with the weight in their toes and their shoulders forward of their feet. This is an unstable position even when holding a broomstick over your head. Poor flexibilty and form closer to your feet translates to compensation at the top.

If your weight is in your toes and you are not bent deep enough into your squat, your shoulders will be forward of your feet, then in order to keep a weight stable over your head you have to hold the weights further behind your head and more in line with your feet. That requires even greater flexibility in the shoulders!

Conversely, if your flexibility and form is better towards your feet, you will only require modest amounts of flexibility in your shoulders to correctly hold the weight in the right place.

It sounds to me that your problem is more in the lower half of the body as you say you experience difficulties with back squats as well.

This being the case, I would focus more on squating deep (with little or no weight) and increasing the range of motion of the ankles, knees and hips. Stretching the corresponding muscles: calves, hamstrings, quadraceps, glutes, lower back, hip flexors as well as the shoulders.

Get some video taken from a side angle to see how your joints are bending and how forward your shoulders are or how far back your butt is as well as your posture/curve of your spine. Get some coaching. Get a friend to watch you and correct your technical errors. Reinforce good form!
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Old 12-23-2004, 11:55 AM   #9
Keith Wittenstein
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Jeremy

I read an article somewhere on this site or linked to from this site that suggested windmills and they have really been great for my shoulders.

Basically you take a light weight, maybe 2.5lbs (1kg) in each hand and you make big circles with your arms. SLOWLY. Do a lot in each direction. You can do them lying down on a bench or standing up. I do 10-20 forward and 10-20 backwards for 2 to 3 sets, then lay down for 2 to 3 sets. Presumably you could do them face down and hanging upside down too in order to work against gravity in all possible angles.

It's a great cooldown exercise after doing oly lifts.
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Old 12-26-2004, 07:38 PM   #10
Barry Cooper
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I've been thinking about making some clubbells, and doing circles, and figure 8's with them. Has anybody tried that? One of the benefits I've heard for clubbells is increased shoulder mobility.
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