We've all been told things along the way with varying degrees of truth... Whether you're a seasoned athlete, weekend warrior or just getting started, here are 5 of the most important things you need to know about your shoulders.
Much like a catapult, the shoulder and arm are the last thing to move in most sports and need the other parts of the body to do their jobs to take pressure off the shoulder. If you're feeling pressure in the shoulder, focusing on using your hips, core, and upper back for more of the work can help protect your shoulders.
2. PARTNERS WORK TOGETHER
The movements of your shoulder, neck and upper back help each other or balance each other out. For example, as you're swimming your upper back should rotate to help "clear space" for your shoulder when your hand is out of the water. If that's not happening you put excess pressure on your shoulders
3. YOUR ROTATOR CUFF IS TORN...
Having a tear in the rotator cuff muscles is fairly common, especially for "overhead" athletes (swimmers, baseball, climbing, etc). Luckily the rotator cuff doesn't do as much "moving" the shoulder as you might think and you can still be pain free and do the sports you love even if your muscles torn but you might have to learn a new (often better and more "right") way.
4. BAND EXERCISES FOR THE WIN? OR LOSS?
Many people do resistance band exercises and "isolation" exercises but as described above, the shoulder is very rarely isolated in movements and sports so should be trained in collaboration with other muscles and body parts as well. If you're just focusing on band exercises you might be wasting your time.
5. YOUR BODY WANTS TO PROTECT ITSELF...
Any time your body feels “threatened” it automatically responds to protect that area by creating an internal“brace.” When you have knee pain your body will naturally try to protect it by limiting it’s movement. You still want to move which puts your knee in a tug-o-war between what you want it to do and how it’s trying to protect itself. This is not a game of tug-o-war you want to play!
At this point you're probably thinking, "well, what do I do about it?" Luckily, we can help! Stay tuned to your email for helpful tips to take care of your shoulder pain or join us in the Tri For Health Facebook Group