Great resource for shoulder maintenance

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by Posture Guy, Oct 13, 2013.

  1. Posture Guy

    Posture Guy Professional

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    I stumbled upon this site and researched their stuff. After talking with the owner, I purchased both their basic Crossover Symmetry system and the Iron Scap system. I am VERY impressed.

    www.crossoversymmetry.com

    CharlieFederer has posted the Thrower's 10 exercises for shoulder maintenance. Those exercises are great but doing the requisite number of sets of each exercise for each arm (yes, work BOTH sides of your body) takes a long time and I'm guessing very few in here do all of them regularly.

    This program works all that stuff and does it very efficiently and effectively. Crossover Symmetry is designed to address rotator cuff and scapular muscles, and is part recovery tool and part strengthening/rehab tool. Iron Scap is designed to help create a more stable, functional scapula and shoulder position.

    One objection I hear from people when I point them to this site is "well, I could do all of those things on my own without their expensive cables." Yes, you could. But you won't. Getting the logistics of all of this stuff setup is a pain in the butt. Getting multiple bands of the appropriate resistance for light, medium and heavy work, getting them setup the appropriate distance from each other, moving them through the 2 elevation positions, doing all of that on your own is so unwieldy that most simply won't do it. I wouldn't. I didn't. But with this setup, it makes it easy. I use the door belts and leave them on one of my doors. Then hooking up the cables takes about 20 seconds and then I'm ready to go. I setup the exercise plaque right in front of me and I'm launching my workout with minimal resistance.

    I've already felt a very positive effect from doing this stuff. I highly recommend these programs to anyone who engages in an overhead-based sport, like tennis.

    Finally, I have no affiliation with these guys other than as a customer. I won't make a penny off any sales. I'm recommending it because I think it's a great product for those who love our sport and want to play it for a long time.
     
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  2. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    For non specialized "athletes" (pronounced "weekend warriors") like probably everyone on this site, I'm not a big fan of specialization routines, unless an injury, etc warrants this.

    But, I'm in a very small minority on this I realize.
     
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  3. Posture Guy

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    Well, what do you consider a "specialization routine"?

    Truth is, look at the threads on this site in the health forum. The number of people with shoulder, elbow and wrist issues is immense. How many people are dropping out of the game because of these issues?

    If you perform a sport that involves overhead/throwing types of motions like baseball, tennis, swimming, etc..., you better have...

    1) a reasonably well positioned thoracic spine and shoulder complex, and

    2) a rotator cuff that can functionally rotate, and

    3) a stable scapula that has the right balance of mobility when needed and stability when that is needed.

    Frankly, most people on this forum lack at least 1 of these 3 things, and the majority over 30 probably lack all 3. This stuff I posted above will deal with all 3 issues and it will do it in an average of about 10-15 minutes a day.

    Just putting that out as a resource for those who want to work on shoulder position and function and not have to spend inordinate amounts of time doing it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2013
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  4. Posture Guy

    Posture Guy Professional

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    a further thought..if you want to perform a sport at a basic level, no, you don't need any advanced conditioning work. Want to play hit and giggle doubles? Anyone can do that, even someone with a degenerative hip. I see it every time I go to the courts.

    Want to play at a reasonably high level, or play active singles at a 4.0 level or above? You better train your body to perform the movements your sport requires or injury IS in your future.
     
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  5. Shroud

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    *******. i bought the stuff earlier today!

    thanks!
     
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  6. ab70

    ab70 New User

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    for those who bought it... what type of package did you buy... level wise...? and how those cables are different from the set up you can achieve wiht the cable machines... from a few pictures on their website... a lot of this is a variation of throwers 10 which I personally able to set up on a cable machine in my gym.

    thx
     
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  7. Posture Guy

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    For Crossover Symmetry exercises, I use a combination of the red, yellow and purple cables. For Iron Scap, a combination of the blue, yellow and purple. So I just have all 4 hooked up to the included carabiners, I leave the door straps up on my door of choice and when I'm ready to begin, I just attach the carabiners to the door straps, takes about 30 seconds to take them out of the bag and attach them, and then I'm good to go.

    Have never done it with a cable machine so can't comment on how it compares. If you have a solid shoulder program based on the Thrower's 10 you're already doing and happy with, keep doing it. If you want something you can easily do at home in about as time efficient a manner as I've seen for this kind of work, this is a great choice.

    And the iron scap program goes beyond the thrower's 10, in my opinion.
     
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  8. tennisenthusiast

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    well said posture guy. there is so much truth in your comment(s)

    i am one of those guys who is over 30 and is dealing with one or more of those conditions since neither my doctor nor I know which one or all is it. shoulder plays such an important role in tennis and conditioning your body is so crucial if you want to play --- not just play but play reasonably well up to your ability. i am forced to play according to my body and not my ability due to this shoulder problem.

    though I cannot purchase this till i diagnose and repair my shoulder problem, i suggest recreational tennis players to pay attention to your body.
     
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  9. WildVolley

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    Got to disagree. My current thinking is that throwing and serving is dangerous for all athletes and especially for the weekend warrior as he ages.

    Doing specialized exercises has greatly reduced my incidence of shoulder pain.
     
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  10. Posture Guy

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    I'll go even further. My question about "what is specialization" was not rhetorical. These are not exercises that are appropriate for tennis players or baseball players and no one else, they are appropriate for every person that has a shoulder and wants to use it, whether that use is hitting a tennis ball or lifting a bag of groceries out of the back seat, or crawling on the floor with their grandkids.

    The purpose of these exercises and equipment is to help produce a functional, strong, well positioned shoulder. That's not just important for tennis, it's important for LIFE. And that's increasingly true as 21st century posture tends to increasingly deteriorate into deeper and deeper flexion. Rounded upper back and shoulder complexes is now epidemic. In the tennis player that might manifest as tennis elbow or rotator cuff impingement. In the computer engineer perhaps it's carpal tunnel syndrome.

    I just recommended this program to a client in our clinic earlier this afternoon. She's a 40 year old woman with a very rounded upper back and severely rounded shoulders. She doesn't play any sports, which is actually part of her problem. Spends long hours at a desk for her work, then likes to do yoga and walk. She NEEDS to engage these muscles to help pull her out of flexion.

    This isn't tennis stuff, it's life stuff, but it will absolutely benefit your tennis.
     
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  11. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    As I said, I'm in an extreme minority. I simply prefer doing a broader base of training. Instead of doing this type of shoulder exercise, I prefer doing exercises that engage the shoulder and other parts of the body at the same time.

    But you are correct. Many of us weekend warriors develop shoulder problems that could probably be avoided if we spend 10 minutes using the system in your OP.
     
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  12. Posture Guy

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    A question, and a comment.

    Didn't you recently have shoulder surgery?

    Then, with respect to doing compound movements, trust me, there are few if any people on this forum who are more of a fan of working the body as an integrated unit than I am. The challenge is, it is very difficult to find an exercise that works the shoulder in open chain external rotation, for example, that also works other parts of the body. And you ABSOLUTELY make this movement on the tennis court.

    So what happens is when people are hard core about this kind of thing, they simply neglect certain movement patterns because they don't lend themselves to that kind of functional training. But then they go and use those movement patterns in their sport of choice, and usually, dysfunctionally. Then they end up either on a surgeon's table or out of the sport.

    If I can get what I want by using bear crawls and crab walks and inchworms and roller coasters, awesome. But almost all those types of exercises assume the shoulder is already in a functional position and can both stabilize and rotate functionally. With most people, that's a very dangerous assumption to make.

    If you play a sport, look at the basic movements your sport requires of you over and over, and then look at your training program. Do you train ALL of those movements, or just some of them? Better be training all of them to genuinely reduce your risk of injury. And without question, movements that ask for demand with the arm elevated are presenting special risk most people's posture and function are ill-suited to provide.
     
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  13. Overdrive

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    Please provide a link. Thanks.
     
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  14. Posture Guy

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    Overdrive, just google it. A ton of stuff will come up including pictures, instructions, videos. It's a common thing.

    And, frankly, a pain in the *** to do consistently with normal tubing.
     
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  15. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    ^^No, not shoulder surgery. I snapped my bicep tendon (which is more of a freakish injury than anything else).

    I can't say with certainty that I exercise all of the movements necessary for tennis (or serving specifically). But I do know that in my case, I can serve literally for hours, day after day, and my shoulder feels great. Always has.

    With training, I was amazed when I moved away from weighted exercises (squat, bench, press, dead, etc) and moved toward bodyweight exercises. Bodyweight exercises will really show you where your weaknesses are in a hurry.

    So my comment above isn't really saying that your recommendation is bad or wrong or anything like that. I think the exercise system in your OP would be great for most people to follow.

    EDIT: Well, since you posted a link to your exercise site, I'll post a link to what I use. It really is pretty comprehensive, takes about half hour per day, and can be done with almost no additional equipment (sometimes you have to be a bit creative):

    http://www.gymnasticbodies.com/
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2013
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  16. Posture Guy

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    r2473....one note, not trying to quibble, but if you look at the attachments of the bicep tendon, this is ABSOLUTELY a shoulder injury. Just didn't involve the rotator cuff itself, or a structure directly related to the shoulder capsule. But issues with either the function or position of the shoulder will directly impact the bicep tendon. Now sometimes, isht happens. Hope you're good from here on out, my friend.

    And I COMPLETELY agree about bodyweight exercises. I'm not a fan of machines or two dimensional movements when we live in a 3 dimensional world. One thing I like about the program I posted above, it's the closest thing I've seen to functional workout stuff for the shoulder capsule and scapula. They utilize some really interesting planes of motion that get a LOT of work done very efficiently.

    But one note, most bodyweight exercises are "closed chain" with respect to the shoulder, meaning the hand is usually anchored on something as the rest of the body moves. Think of a bear crawl, for example. But in tennis, EVERYTHING you do with your shoulder is open chain demand. So you'd better be doing some open chain-based training.

    For those curious what open vs closed chain exercise is, here's a link that does a decent job of explaining it:

    http://www.sparkpeople.com/blog/blog.asp?post=fitness_defined_open_and_closed_chain_exercises
     
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  17. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    No, other side. Where the tendon attaches at the elbow. I simply straightened it really fast and forcefully. This injury really is a freak thing.

    I think there are lots of training methods that get the job done. And to be honest, I'm not a big fan of the "modern" approach that simply says, "look at these movements you do in your sport. Now, train only those movements". I still believe in the school of thought that stresses building a strong training foundation and then adding specific training on top of that foundation. I think it's a mistake to focus immediately and solely on sport specific training.
     
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  18. Posture Guy

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    r2473....simply because the tendon was damaged at the distal end (away from the shoulder) and not the proximal one (at the shoulder) doesn't mean the shoulder wasn't involved. There is no such thing, in my opinion, as a "freak" accident. Injuries happen for one of two reasons, sometimes both: a trauma where even a well positioned and functional structure would suffer trauma. Think of a football player where someone runs into his knee sideways and bends it laterally. He's blowing ligaments no matter how well positioned and functional he is. The second is when the body part is already under duress even at rest because the position of what it attaches to is compromised. With almost all bicep tendon injuries, the shoulder was in a compromised position and had lost some measure of mobility, which then causes the humerus to be pushed out of position which then compromises the elbow joint, and then the wrist, etc... If the tendon snapped with no trauma, just undergoing a normal movement, then it was already under dysfunctional load prior to the event and whatever it was doing at the time of damage was just the last few straws piled on that camel's back. Healthy tissue doesn't just tear spontaneously for no reason. There is ALWAYS a reason. And again, just because the rupture site was distal instead of proximal doesn't mean the shoulder wasn't involved. There was almost certainly a dysfunctional line of pull put on that tendon. SOMETHING that the tendon attaches to either wasn't where it was supposed to be or wasn't moving as it was supposed to move, and with the bicep tendon, that's almost always the shoulder.

    Re sport specific training, I agree. I, too, am a fan of training the body in a well rounded way to perform in life, not just the demands of a specific sport.

    What I'm recommending above is NOT sport specific training. It's a very well rounded program for training the upper back and shoulder complexes. Just happens to be great for tennis.
     
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  19. r2473

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    By freak accident, I meant trauma. It really was a one-off type thing.

    Looking a little more closely at the program in your OP, it does appear to be a very well rounded routine for shoulder health. It is also quick and packaged very well so as to make it convenient. It's quite impressive.
     
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  20. Posture Guy

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    yeah, those kinds of incidents blow. Happened to me, twice last year. Our company did a team building event at K-1 Racing Go Karts. Those things haul ***, get up to about 50 mph on a tight indoor circuit. Had someone lose control of his kart and crash into me and the precise moment my shoulder was under maximum load going through a 180 degree turn. Tore my labrum. While going through the process leading up to surgery I kept playing tennis, just couldn't serve normally. Got caught in an awkward position trying to volley an attempted passing shot and because the labrum was torn the shoulder was somewhat unstable, and it was the perfect combo of weird angle and load and I ripped a chunk of cartilage off the head of the humerus. Not good. Two major shoulder surgeries later I'm at about 80% of the way back, been playing singles for a few months.

    I'll just say this: I'm VERY motivated to do anything I can to never go back on the operating table again. Shoulder surgeries are the worst.
     
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  21. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    ^^ That was the only surgery I've ever had (which people couldn't believe when I told them). Sounds like you've had your share of bad luck in your life with respect to this kind of stuff. I think you are due for good luck.

    I used to train for performance. Now I train almost exclusively for health and to try to increase my chances of being active as I age. It is a very different mindset. Took me a while to convert.
     
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  22. Posture Guy

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    Yes! If you train for health and balance, you'll perform just fine.

    Sport specific training is usually a disaster. Had a client in once, one of the top competitive swimmers in the NCAAs, swam for the Univ of Texas women's team. Her posture was unbelievably bad, function incredibly limited. I asked how she was trained outside of the pool and they had her doing a strength training routine that focused ONLY on the muscle they thought she needed to swim her strokes. They created a body that was so horribly out of functional balance that her ability to swim was now compromised.

    Most athletic trainers, frankly, don't know what they're doing. It's really sad. The good ones are worth their weight in gold.

    Or maybe really high quality bronze.
     
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  23. Shroud

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    finally got around to using the crossover exercises today.

    Even with the dvd I think I did some wrong. Well some I didnt actually crossover on! And I forgot to change the cable on the 2nd exercise and used the heavy cable.

    Anyhow thank you for recommending this! Its perfect for me and is targeting my weak muscles.

    My questions are:

    1. Just doing it today I am already sore. Should I do it again tommorrow or ease into the routine slowly because I am dreadfully out of shape in the shoulders?

    2. WHen should I start doing the Iron scap?

    3. Working all that shoulder, are there exercises I need for the front muscles to balance things out?

    4. Are there any stretching you recommend?

    Tanks!! :)
     
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  24. BMC9670

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    I had SLAP surgery and learned nearly identical movements in rehab using regular Therabands. Now fully recovered, I do a maintenance program that takes about 15 minutes, 3x per week using $20 worth of standard bands and a door. Works fine, not a pain in the *** to do at all. In fact, really portable and easy to do anywhere, anytime.

    Not to rain on your infomercial parade, but I don't see anything new here, certainly not "revolutionary" or "breakthrough" as the site says. Just slight variations of standard movements used for shoulder rehab/prehab with fancier (and expensive!) bands.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2013
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  25. Posture Guy

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    If you're sore, wait a day for recovery. they recommend people do one set daily of the Crossover Symmetry program, and then 3 sets 2-3x/week. Doing it after playing is a great way to cool down the shoulder, especially if you lengthen the eccentric part of the movement (the release of the contraction, just slow it down).

    You can start the Iron Scap portion at any time, but given what you described above, maybe wait a couple of weeks until the CS stuff is pretty easy.

    Re 3 and 4, those answers are more complex and depend greatly on what kind of motion you present your body in your daily life. Most people already have a severe imbalance between the back and front muscles of the torso. Most people have rounded upper backs begging for this type of movement demand, so adding it doesn't create imbalance, it addresses it. But again, that's very individualized.

    And yes, lots of great shoulder movements to complement this program. Get the book "Pain Free" by Pete Egoscue and alternate the routines for the mid back, and then the shoulders and elbows. Would be a great complement to this.

    Pay special attention to form on these exercises and ensure you're setup correctly and using the proper resistance.
     
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  26. Posture Guy

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    I had a SLAP-II repair and went through what you describe above. I had the bands as well. Could I do a routine that worked my shoulders using them and a door? Yes. Do I feel that routine (which I did many, many times) was as convenient or effective as what I've recommended above? No.

    And I found their exercises and the way they were designed, including the plyometric portion, worked my rotator cuff far more effectively than the standard PT band-based exercises. They're just more comprehensive movement patterns.

    Re the "informercial" crack, whatever, dude. I don't make a penny if someone buys this stuff, I'm taking my time to answer questions and pass on a resource. Use it, or don't. But how about we leave the juvenile personal isht on the sidelines.
     
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  27. Shroud

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    I would point out that while I spent just under $400 for some "expensive" bands, both you guys probably paid a ton more in surgery and Pt costs just to get the knowledge contained on the dvds. :razz: And from the sounds of it, the PT stuff isnt as comprehensive.

    For me, just having the plan, and seeing the exercises performed is worth the money. Even then I might have messed up on technique. Now I can rewatch them and get it right.

    Also the door strap is perfect. I already have resistance bands and the ony place I can really use them is from a door knob and from my deck. I dont see how one would duplicate the eye level or knee level pull points with standard resistance bands.

    Anyhow the fact that I actually exercised the shoulders is the whole point and this system got me off my sas to do it.

    Thanks PG.
     
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  28. Posture Guy

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    shroud...my pleasure. I hope the program is of benefit to you.

    FYI, I started getting some ART (active release technique) therapy on my shoulder to further rehab it. My surgeries last year were pretty significant, my accident really messed it up. When I started with ART they put me back on the same kind of normal shoulder exercises with bands everyone uses. I switched to CS about 6 weeks ago and within 2 weeks they noticed a SIGNIFICANT improvement in shoulder position, function and strength compared to the results I was getting with just the bands.
     
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  29. BMC9670

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    Nothing personal. It's an effective program I'm sure. It's just not "revolutionary" or "breakthrough" as their "informercial" website suggests. It's slick marketing and fancy equipment, which is much of what the multi-billion fitness industry is based on. Plenty of people spend tons of money on it. That's fine. I'm just pointing out that you can, and many, many people do, accomplish the same thing, just as conveniently, for far less. That's all.:)
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2013
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  30. Posture Guy

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    No, that's not "all". You called it my "infomercial parade", clearly implying I'm trying to sell something here. Don't go throwing that kind of crap out there and then go run off and plead "all I was saying...". That's weak.

    And if you go back and read my first post in this thread, I made the same point you're making. If someone will get 2 of each band, and get all the appropriate levels of resistance (minimum of 3), AND if they have a way of attaching them at the appropriate space from each other, AND they have a way of easily moving them to the appropriate heights, AND they do the exercises for both sides of their body at the same time, AND they actually do the exercises on a regular basis, then yes, one can get a fairly similar benefit to this program.

    And I suspect I could count on one hand (or less) the number of people on this board actually doing all of that.
     
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  31. Posture Guy

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    Just a hint as to how I'm wired...i routinely come across things in my line of work that can be of benefit to both me, my clients, as well as others. I'm always happy to share stuff and be a resource when appropriate. I've spent a LOT of my personal time answering questions both on these forums, and responding to questions via email from people on these forums and never asked for or received one penny from doing so.

    Want to **** me off? Write something that even obliquely questions my integrity. That crap doesn't sit well with me at all.
     
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  32. BMC9670

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    Wow. I see how you're wired…defensive!

    Yes, "that's all" I'm pointing out is that this IS an "informercial" and there is nothing "revolutionary" or "breakthrough" about it. Never said you were try to sell it. Never questioned your "integrity". Never said it wasn't effective or anything negative about the content. I simply questioned the "revolutionary" and "breakthrough" claims and the price.

    Just because someone points out another view is no reason to get so bent out of shape.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2013
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  33. Posture Guy

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    I have zero problems with other points of view. I had a big problem with this line:

    Not to rain on your infomercial parade

    You called it MY informercial, not theirs, implying I'm trying to sell something. If that's not what you meant, write more carefully. Do I get ticked off when someone writes crap that questions my integrity? Absolutely.

    I'm more than happy to have a discussion about the merits of the program, or any other topic. Look at the conversation r2473 and I had above. Perfectly civil because he didn't accuse me of trying to sell something.
     
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  34. BMC9670

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    Come on, now. That's a bit much.

    Do you really think I implied you're actually a sales rep for the product on internet sites? Come on.
     
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  35. Posture Guy

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    I'm done with this conversation.
     
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  36. BMC9670

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    Me too.

    BTW… how is your SLAP repair holding up? People post a a lot about it when they are going through it and through the rehab process, but less over time.

    I'm curious how people do years after and if they keep up maintenance on the shoulder. Mine certainly feels best when I'm diligent about maintenance.
     
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  37. Posture Guy

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    Hard for me to answer the question about the SLAP repair. I had an accident in May of 2012 that tore the labrum, was pretty sure it was a SLAP tear when it happened. MRI confirmed it, went in in July of 2012 and she found and repaired the SLAP tear and also did a subacromial decompression. But we found the accident had dislodged a major chunk of cartilage from the head of the humerus. The MRI gave us no indication of that. So, she had neither the time, the equipment or consent to properly address it. So she smoothed it out as best she could but told me the odds were good that it would need further attention.

    About 3-4 months later during rehab from the surgery, an edge of the 'crater' tore up. Imagine a pothole in the road and instead of patching it you just smooth it out. Eventually it's gonna be a problem again, which is what happened to me. She said the rest of the shoulder looked great so we did something called a hemi-cap repair. Sunk a screw into my humerus, shaved off the rest of the articular cartilage and then put a titanium cap on the end of the screw fitted around my the ball of the humerous. Basically a new glide surface. It was a pretty major surgery. That was Dec 2012, a little over 10 months ago.

    I've been playing tennis again since May, and things are good. The shoulder capsule was really, really tight but ART has helped open it up. Range of motion is 100% in some planes of motion, maybe 80% in others. I'm working with an instructor who specializes in injury prevention to rework my strokes and especially my serve to ensure I don't cause any damage. And also diligently doing my own therapy stuff. And then this program has been a huge benefit for me, I've noticed a significant increase in ROM and strength and function since starting it.

    So, I think the SLAP tear is fine. The issue with most people who get SLAP tears is the shoulder is in a compromised position to begin with so it's still under excessive strain compared to a properly positioned shoulder. In almost every case of a SLAP tear that I see (other than a weird trauma thing), there is mid back rounding which compromises full glide function of the scapula, which then puts more strain on the rotator cuff and the labrum. Unless that's addressed, the shoulder is still in some measure of trouble.
     
    #37
  38. Fintft

    Fintft Hall of Fame

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    I've been using chest expenders for a long time now (after by shoulder had been pulled out of its socket in bball, in high-school). They are affordable and help + they are fun to use.
     
    #38
  39. GuyClinch

    GuyClinch Hall of Fame

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    Is this alot better then do external rotations and some band pull aparts? I just mix that stuff in with my regular workouts - haven't had any shoulder problems.

    But I am switching to poly strings. might be tougher on my shoulder but they seem alot better..
     
    #39
  40. Posture Guy

    Posture Guy Professional

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2011
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    Austin, TX
    GuyClinch...in my opinion, yes. You want to work the shoulder in multiple planes of motion. External and internal rotation, adduction, abduction, all of it.
     
    #40

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