Best n Worst Shoulder Exercises

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by mbrose1994, Sep 11, 2013.

  1. mbrose1994

    mbrose1994 New User

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    Over the past 10 years, I have injured my shoulders, each one once. Serving shoulder was first, 10 years ago. And other shoulder 1 year ago during weight training. No surgery required, both healed (so far as I know) with cautious, careful self-designed rehab motions and exercises.

    However, I discovered a great divergence of opinions and personal experiences doing research on shoulder injury recovery. Some recommendations are totally contradictory.

    So, my interest is to gather more personal experiences from others regarding shoulder injuries and recovery. I hope that some consistency emerges from what I anticipate will be a far ranging variety of injury and recovery experiences.
     
    #1
  2. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    I try and do the Thrower's Ten once a week when I lift weights. I'll do other shoulder exercises as well but the one I avoid now is the military press. For some reason, that one bugged my shoulder.
     
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  3. RogueFLIP

    RogueFLIP Semi-Pro

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    Esp with injury recovery, just as important as rebuilding strength and range of motion is maintaining flexibility and reducing any soft tissue restrictions.

    Unresolved soft tissue restrictions may cause continued pain, postural and muscle imbalances in the region which if left uncheck may delay and complicate you getting back to where you want.

    My $.02.
     
    #3
  4. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

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    About 3 years ago I locked up my shoulder hitting big serves. Either I tore a rotator cuff muscle or had some sort of impingement issue - I'm not totally sure. The muscles around the shoulder were very tight and my neck was in pain.

    I went to a chiro which had an immediate analgesic effect on the shoulder and then started doing external rotation exercises with a band and switched to a 2hbh to take pressure of the shoulder when hitting groundies.

    My shoulder still isn't 100%, but I'm being able to hit big serves again without pain. I now do external rotation exercises with a band and free weights. I also do scapular push-ups and normal pull-ups. I found dead lifts also helped but I haven't done those in a while.

    Recently I've been doing static hanging from a bar after reading about it on the internet and how it stretches out the shoulder and reduces impingement. Too soon to tell if it is working.
     
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  5. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    Lat Pulldowns and Shoulder Press behind that neck are a no-no. While the lat pulldowns is primarily performed to target the latissimus dorsi muscles, it also engages shoulder muscles attached to the scapulae -- the posterior deltoids, the teres major, & minor stabilizing contribution from some rotor cuff muscles. Here is a source that talks about the wrong and the right way to perform the lat pulldown and shoulder press exercises:

    http://www.fitbie.com/get-fit/tips/10-surprisingly-dangerous-exercises/tip/2
     
    #5
  6. fuzz nation

    fuzz nation Legend

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    Same goes for me with the military press - those only give me sore shoulders. I love doing standing dead lifts where the bar comes up to my chin and my shoulders only raise my upper arms to parallel with the floor. I think that if I raise a weight beyond 90 degrees (like when I press overhead), that compresses everything in the tops of my shoulders too much.

    The Thrower's Ten that mikeler often recommends here looks like a good routine and I'm going to have a go with it very soon.
     
    #6
  7. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    I would say that CFed is the one always pushing the Thrower's Ten. He is a wise man.
     
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  8. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Hall of Fame

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    A few years ago I had learned that external shoulder rotation exercises were good for the shoulders. I used pulleys and strengthened my shoulders using increasing weights. I believe that I reached 25 lbs or maybe 30 lbs on the pulley.

    One secession with the external rotations, I discovered that I had lost strength for my left non-tennis side. There was discomfort. I also experienced ischemia (pain from lack of blood flow) at night. It got worse and I saw a Dr. MRI indicated mild tears of the supraspinatus. I did not get an operation but was prescribed PT (I had to argue with the Dr for PT instead of a cortizone shot).

    I don't know if the heavy external shoulder rotations injured my supraspinatus as it does not appear that the supraspinatus is targeted. But I did read since to not go heavy on external shoulder rotations. Whoops!

    Also, the physical therapist said that many shoulder injuries, especially of baseball pitchers, are caused by the scapula's poor position on the body. Some problems with mine were pointed out. Exercises known as the Blackburn Exercises were used. I still do some of them and I believe that the Thrower's 10 has some very similar ones. These exercises are not to be done heavy in order to target the intended small muscles. If heavy, the smaller muscles might drop out of the exercise. For example, face down on a bench, the arms are brought up to straight out from the sides and the rhomboids are farther squeezed and held for 6 seconds - this pulls the scapulas toward the spine. This is done with 2-3 lb dumbbells. I thought it was a joke at first until about 6 reps and then laughed hard as 2 lb dumbbells killed my shoulders with fatigue. I do that for 20 reps now and it feels good and tightens up my shoulders.

    A basic thing for me was to realize that the shoulder is better thought of as the arm-scapula assembly attached to the body by many muscles (trapazoids, rhomboids, other muscles attached all around the scapula). I have a tendency to have shoulders forward, that is, the scapulas are not properly held more back. You can see the same issue with Maria Sharapova.

    Give some attention to the posture of your scapulas. A posture examination by a medical specialist is a very good idea.

    Eric Cressey has many detailed comments on posture and exercises.

     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2013
    #8
  9. tennisenthusiast

    tennisenthusiast Hall of Fame

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    Chas Tennis - Is cortizone really that bad for your shoulder in all cases? Then why do orthos suggest it?
     
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  10. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Hall of Fame

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    I don't know. I researched it and decided based on what I have read.

    To me there is a lot of uncertainty in all medical things. The quality of information is not good. I try to give weight to neutral research but there is not enough.

    When I found the two papers distinguishing between tendinitis and tendinosis, they made perfect sense to me and matched my experience - what I've heard from people that I know and have read, etc. I have seen the views in the papers expressed in many subsequent references regarding tendinopathy. The papers say things about the effectiveness of cortisone shots. Have your read those papers?

    See papers in reply #1 & #15.
    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=442912

    Besides, pain indicates probably damage so I don't want to mask pain.

    Search: cortisone effectiveness tendon injury cartilage
    Look especially for nih and British Journal of Medicine publications. The BJM gives free 30 day trials so that you can get some otherwise costly publications for free. Find research results on cortisone effectiveness.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2013
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  11. 3fees

    3fees Hall of Fame

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    For me,,Push ups and band exercises are best..

    _____________
     
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  12. JRstriker12

    JRstriker12 Hall of Fame

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    I have a separated right shoulder. It's my tennis arm, but I injured it playing soccer goal keeper.

    I find that dips and military presses are really not great for that shoulder. I also have to be a bit careful with range of motion on pull-overs.

    I find internal and external rotation shoulder exercises are very helpful.
     
    #12
  13. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    The shoulder is like anything. As long as you work progressively over time, you can train your shoulder to handle a lot.

    For example, you probably wouldn't want to go the gym tonight and try to do an Iron Cross, but for gymnasts that have been training progressively, the Iron Cross isn't necessarily bad.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sd1LjYgIm_4

    I do "bad" or "dangerous" exercises (for my shoulders and other things), but it's taken me a while to get here. As an example, I do dips on a U-shaped bar such that I lower my shoulders slightly below my hands. Now, as we all know, you "shouldn't" go lower than 90-degrees (elbow angle) or you will hurt yourself. Good advice for anyone just starting to do dips. But you can work to safely increase your range of motion on these.

    In this You Tube video, at the start of his routine, this gymnast does a muscle up that is essentially a full range ring dip. No kipping. Pretty incredible.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2q8KMnWUsvg
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2013
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  14. Fintft

    Fintft Hall of Fame

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    I first had my shoulder pulled out of the socked in bball in high school and started to use chest expanders (that really helped).

    Atm I have a minor shoulder strain from serving and again using the chest expander with its variety of motions...
     
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  15. Pacific lefty

    Pacific lefty Rookie

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    Best and Worst

    After having 18 months of shoulder impingment, tendonitis and finally subacromial decompression surgery, For me the worst, most aggravating exercises are those that you do for shoulders using the machines in the gym- particularly when sitting and pulling down the bar and with arms at a right angle, bringing hands together (sorry, not sure of the name of those 2 machines.

    The best and most useful exercises, especially in rehab were the internal and external rotation, light weights and high repetitions along with the thrower's ten. Pilates also really helpful!

    Serving faster and better than ever!
     
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  16. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Hey Pac Lefty....
    Good to hear from ya.
    Cybex machines? I did those previous winter, now I can brush my teeth and shave with my left hand, not needing elbow support from my right. I can lat pull more than my weight, both machines. Surfing for 25 years built up some lats.
    Unfortunately, tennis is still the same.
     
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  17. Pacific lefty

    Pacific lefty Rookie

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    Hey LeeD! I haven't gone back to the gym, the running and Pilates and resistance bands have been perfect. I'll be doing the Plank while reading War and Peace...
     
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  18. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    My physical therapy has always been brushing my teeth, shaving, washing my hair, putting on too small T shirts, takingthem off, and hoping the toilet paper rack is within reach.
    Got so BOTH arms can reach straight up above me now. A new all time high.
     
    #18
  19. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

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    Consider going to a chin bar and just doing relaxed dead hangs. Do them 30 seconds or so at a time and work your way up to doing 2 to 4 minutes a day of 30 second sets. It will probably stretch those messed up shoulders out and give you less chance of impingement.

    I read about it online and started doing it and it seems to be working. Of course, you still need to do a lot of strengthening once you get a little more flexibility back in those joints. Get some cheap tubing and start doing the external rotation exercises every other day. Do that for a while and you'll easily be able to pat the top of your head with that left hand.
     
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  20. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Already can, and I couldn't brush my teeth one handed around 4 years ago.
    I"m getting stronger, and younger..:):)
    Any exercise to improve strength will only break down what I got.
    I'm 64, windsurf 5 days a week usually, and play tennis twice a week like a kid.... stupid, hit too hard, try to run for everything.
     
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