FITNESS PAIN FREE

Why You Need Shoulder Health Exercises in Your Program

rotator-cuffOne topic Dave Tilley and myself speak in depth on at power monkey camp is shoulder health.  Shoulder pain is something we both see more often then we’d like and think a lot of these issues could be addressed prior to the start of pain.  Now, a lot of different things go into a solid shoulder health program.  Among these are full shoulder and thoracic spine range of motion and rotator cuff exercises.

Now, I’ve spoken at length about building shoulder range of motion at the site.  Another concept that I put into all of my programming is shoulder health exercise.  Unfortunately, our shoulders are not weight bearing joints like the knees and hips and can’t handle the barrage of exercise as well.  For this reason I like to add several exercises into a weekly routine to keep the shoulder joint ready for war.  This is going to require implementing rotator cuff and scapular stability exercises. […]

3 Tips to Reduce Shoulder Pain in Muscle-ups

Durante-Dip-Screen-1

Far and away one of the most challenging exercises in the fitness world is the muscle-up.  Given the complexity and challenge of the exercise some people end up getting themselves into hairy situations with this movement and often times in pain.  As you guys know I’ve teamed up with Dr. Dave Tilley and gymnast / coach Dave Durante and the power monkey crew to help people with issues like these.  Dr. Tilley made an excellent article putting together 3 major tips for muscle-up proficiency and how to avoid painful situations with the muscle-up.

Click HERE to Access the Article

Definitely worth a read, […]

How the Shoulder Affects the Front Rack and How to Address It

vaughnlift1Are you the guy who’s pinky slips out from under the bar during a max clean and jerk?  Do your wrists kill after thrusters?  Can’t even touch the barbell to your chest during push press?

You might have a front rack issue.  

The areas that are generally limited in a poor front rack will be:

  • The thoracic spine
  • The shoulder
  • The elbow
  • The wrist

We need adequate motion in all of these areas to front rack well.  I wanted to spend some time today to address the shoulder’s role in the front rack.  The reason I wanted to talk about this is because there appears to be some general confusion of the shoulder’s role in the front rack.  I’ve even heard people say that shoulder mobility is not important in the front rack because you only need 90 degrees of shoulder flexion for the front rack.  I really believe this couldn’t be further from the truth.  Let me explain… […]

How to Quickly and Efficiently Progress Handstand Pushups

I teach a lot of handstand pushups.  In a group environment it can be very tricky to find modifications and progressions for all athletes, especially when you have a class with varied levels of strength and experience.  Here are my favorite progressions, from easy to hard:

This is also an excellent progression to use when rehabbing shoulder and neck injuries back to handstand pushup excellence.  Give it a shot and let me know what you think. […]

Should I Have Rotator Cuff Surgery? Questions Answered by Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Sean Rockett

People ask me all of the time whether or not they should have rotator cuff surgery.  Today I had the opportunity to speak with orthopedic surgeon Dr. Sean Rockett about this.  Enjoy.

Dr Rockett is an orthopedic surgeon in Massachusetts who specializes in the shoulder and knee.  Dr. Rockett is also on the Crossfit Medical Team for the Crossfit Games and Regionals.  He knows his way around a barbell and provides excellent information for athletes like you and me.   […]

Super Simple and Effective Way to Improve Shoulder Health and Internal Rotation

So, I’m guessing that most of you have seen this exercise.  It isn’t sexy or fancy, but it is effective for a few reasons that may be new for you. […]

Shoulder Pain Rehabilitation: How to Progress Exercises For Shoulder Pain in Athletes Part 2: Open Chain

chad-580x435To recap from last week, as therapists sometimes I feel as if we lack in our exercise selection for certain athletes trying to return to sport.  We do a good job of finding evidence based EMG exercises for specific conditions but sometimes drop the ball when it comes to finding great exercises that are specific to getting back to sport.  Those basic exercises are of extreme importance but what do we do once our athletes have reached their maximum benefit from these exercises and aren’t yet back to their activities.  I work with a decent number of weightlifters and crossfit athletes.  Besides a lack of knowledge of their sport, the second biggest reason for failed previous treatment is a lack of specific exercise progression to get them back to their activities.  Getting someone back to their ADLs pain free and getting them back to high level performance are two different things. […]

Shoulder Pain Rehabilitation: How to Progress Exercises For Shoulder Pain in Athletes Part 1: Closed Chain

shoulder-painI’ve been working with a lot of students lately in my clinical practice as a physical therapist lately.  In my experience most students tend to have pretty good clinical decision making skills, a fairly sound evidence based approach as well as some solid evaluation and treatment ideas.

When it comes time for program directors to visit their students at our clinic they usually ask about ways to improve their physical therapy curriculum.  Far and away the biggest comment I give is the lack of experience with exercise selection.

I also feel that as a profession overall we lack a bit in this area.  We do a good job of finding evidence based EMG exercises for specific conditions but sometimes drop the ball when it comes to finding great exercises that are specific to getting back to sport.  Those basic exercises are of extreme importance but what do we do once our athletes reach their maximum benefit from these exercises and aren’t yet back to their activities.  I work with a decent number of weightlifters and crossfit athletes.  Besides a lack of knowledge of their sport, the second biggest reason for failed previous treatment is a lack of specific exercise progression to get them back to their activities.  Getting someone back to their ADLs pain free and getting them back to high level performance are two different things. […]

Principles of Overhead Mobility – Treating the Teres Major

Teres_major_muscle_backSome time back I read an article by Mike Reinold about the Teres Major.  I also had this drilled back into my head while going over his and Eric Cressey Functional Stability Training of the upper body videos.  Since I’ve been treating a lot of Teres Major for overhead mobility limitations.  It’s fairly amazing how well it works too.  We often thinks pecs, lats and thoracic spine for poor overhead motion.   […]

The Best Exercises For Crossfit Shoulder Health

crossfit-injuries-1As we all know, shoulder health is paramount in crossfit.  From personal experience I’ve found that shoulders tend to be one of the most commonly injured and painful joints in crossfit.  I believe one of the major reasons for this is that Crossfit contains a large amount of shoulder intensive exercises.   To reinforce the point, here are some of the most common crossfit exercises:

  • Barbell / dumbbell / kettlebell overhead press, push press, thrusters, push/split jerk
  • Pushups, handstand pushups, handstand walking, dips, burpees
  • Pull-ups, kipping pull-ups, toes to bar […]