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Old 09-30-2011, 11:18 PM   #1
Stephen Winchell
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Location: Big Sandy  TX
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Time to deal with Shoulder Mobility Issues

I have known that I have had shoulder mobility problems for awhile, but have been becoming increasingly aware of how bad they are. Rather than make excuses, and put off the issue, I am planning to buckle down and do my best to fix this problem. Any advice or input is appreciated.

I have never had a shoulder injury, but have a range of motion that limits me from effectively pressing overhead, (a huge part of crossfit and upper-body strength) holding a handstand, etc. I believe it is a combination of genetics, poor posture, and excessive amounts of pushups with little stretching in past years. I have decent upperbody strength in other areas, (bw 185lbs, bench 225, 7 muscle ups, 120lb weighted pullup) but this continues to be a huge goat. My shoulders just will not open enough to press overhead without losing "the position" and going into lumber hyper-extension.

I suspect the problem stems from a couple sources: Poor thoracic flexibility, tight lats, problematic supraspinatus and subscapularis, tight pecs and internally rotated shoulders, and stuck "first-ribs" among other things. I have had a little trigger point theraputic massage done on these areas which definitely uncovered problems but didn't seem to do a lot to solve them. I know that Kelly Starrett and the mobility WOD probably contains most the solutions for my problem and I am somewhat familiar with them. I have limited access to Youtube, so specific links would be helpful in identifying applicable MWOD sessions. Also looking for any other helpful articles, links, exercises, or stretches. Programming suggestions would also be great (ie don't press, press light higher reps, stay off benching, etc).

Thank you to the community for sharing what has helped you and taking the time to read the post. Ready to become a "supple-leopard".
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Old 09-30-2011, 11:56 PM   #2
Andrew Steele
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Re: Time to deal with Shoulder Mobility Issues

I'm in the same boat mate, do you come from the blocky world of bodybuilding and powerlifting? All it will take is time and correction of those nasty gym habits, . I don't have any better links, just what my trainer recommends, which is plenty of mobility exercises, stretching and sticking to light weight when trying anything that requires that kind of mobility. It's working for me so far, but I've got a long way to go.

EDIT: Found a link:
Friends may come and go, but two hundred pounds will always be two hundred pounds - Henry Rollins

Last edited by Andrew Steele : 09-30-2011 at 11:58 PM. Reason: found a link for him!
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Old 10-01-2011, 07:37 AM   #3
Aaron Gainer
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Re: Time to deal with Shoulder Mobility Issues

Massage pecs, lats, and thoracic spine. Do band dislocates, scapula pushups with band, and band pulldowns.

My favorite exercises are the muscle snatch and snatch push press for gaining goo shoulder mobility. Also it doesn't hurt to add some horizontal rowing(concept 2).

And last but not least, stretch your hip flexors and quads. Be surprised how the hip can screw with the shoulder position.
B.S. Physical Education and Health
NSCA C.S.C.S, USAW Level 1

Last edited by Aaron Gainer : 10-01-2011 at 07:40 AM.
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Old 10-02-2011, 11:08 AM   #4
Erin Hightower
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Re: Time to deal with Shoulder Mobility Issues

He will cure what ails you. Just go in and use the search function to work on your shoulders, and thoracic

I wish I had known about him when I was recovering from my car accident last year
At home W.O.D.'er crossfitting since 2/2011
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Old 10-02-2011, 02:27 PM   #5
Stephen Winchell
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Re: Time to deal with Shoulder Mobility Issues

I don't come from a body building background. For a few months I did mess around with weights body-building style, (all the posters and anyone I knew showed) but nothing serious. A little of bench press since that's all I knew. Mostly bodyweight stuff at a military-style academy. I do have some tight quads, been improving on those but I'll keep the work up. Thanks for the input.
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