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Exercises Movements, technique & proper execution

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Old 02-18-2007, 05:58 PM   #1
Jim Lark
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Didn't want to sabotage somebody else's post so thought I would start a new thread. I read the following on a recent post re. the muscle up:

"It is important to consider scapular position in any overhead maneuver. When the elbow goes to full lockout, it is nearly impossible to maintain a strong scapular position. Do not forget that the ONLY ligamentous attachment of the upper extremity to the rest of the skeleton is the sternoclavicular joint. The scapula relies solely on muscles to keep it in a stable position. These muscles set up force couples to maintain scapular stability throughout the shoulder's huge range of motion.

During a fully extended hang, the deltoid and upper trap are fully shortened and thus unable to stabalize the scapula. Conversely, the teres and rhomboid are lengthened beyond their physiological peak contractile length. Thus, full extension in this movement can lead to scapular (and shoulder) injury.

Some may say that the full range of motion is the best but in this case that is not true. These muscles will not adapt to be able to contract at their peak at a different length since that length is dictated on the subcellular level. Addiotionally, the vast majority (myself included) of the population has rhomboids that are stretch weakend beyond all recognition and don't function correctly anyway due to inhibition from chronically facilitated pectoralis muscles.

In a nutshell all I am trying to say is that hanging your shoulder out there at full extension of the elbow can be a dangerous move for the everyday crossfitter. There is a reason one can get more reps without full extension - and its not that they are cheating. Our anatomy is designed that way.

Your question about how to standardize measurement of these tests is therefore a good question but the answer is not as simple as performing full range of motion on every exercise.
Comment #78 - Posted by Craiger at February 17, 2007 10:24 AM"


I can kip 30+ and just started doing some wide-grip dead hang pull-ups touching my shoulder blades at the top to try and develop a little width in my back. Been able to get up to 17 so far.

However, based on the above comment, should I keep a little bend in my elbows at the bottom or should I continue to go completely dead hang, relax, then contract and pull up (which is what I have been doing)?

I always teach my clients to fully extend, but would it be better to keep a little tension if I'm not kipping?

Thanks,
Jim
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Old 02-20-2007, 07:54 AM   #2
Jim Lark
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Any takers?

Bueller...Bueller...?
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Old 02-20-2007, 08:40 AM   #3
Lincoln Brigham
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"During a fully extended hang, the deltoid and upper trap are fully shortened. Conversely, the teres and rhomboid are lengthened beyond their physiological peak contractile length."

Not if you are using an active shoulder, which you should be. The elbows may be fully extended but the shoulders should not hang passively.
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Old 02-20-2007, 12:04 PM   #4
Roger Harrell
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Gymnasts are regularly at full extension under massive load. Think of the base of a ring giant. 8X bodymass for a brief turn over period. If you tried to keep your shoulders contracted downward at all they will extend under failure at the bottom and you'll likely rip right off the rings, and potentially injure your shoulder. So, for the answer whether full extension on the pull up is expected, yes. The shoulders should be at a full hang. Pushed away from the bar...
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Old 02-21-2007, 08:57 AM   #5
Jim Lark
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