Bullet Proofing Your Shoulder
Healing My Shoulder Before it Hurt
We love helping people who have injured their shoulder experience life and sport pain free again. Many people have sustained an injury earlier in their lives and have stopped believing they could have pain free shoulders again. We can help.
When I entered high school, I had a tough decision. Keep focusing on gymnastics and try to qualify for the 2000 Olympics- or focus my time and energy on baseball. I chose baseball and in my Freshmen year I had the honor of playing for a coach who has been voted the USA High School Baseball Coach of the year three times.
There are many things he taught me, but one was how to bulletproof my shoulders- in essence make sure I would never injure my shoulders. For the rest of my high school and college career I never had any problems with my shoulder or elbow and I think that was largely because of the exercises he taught me.
When you start exercising regularly you stress your shoulders. In Crossfit your shoulders are going to be under more stress than ever before. But they can and will be stronger and healthier than ever before if you take our advice.
Shoulders are Like Trees
In your first six months, you have a chance to prepare your shoulders for what you will ask of them in the future. You’ve heard the proverb “The best time to plant a tree was 30 years ago, the next best time is today.” This is so true for strengthening our shoulders! In the Middle East, most of you have only played Football (soccer) and have never used your shoulders for extended periods in athletic endeavors. This means your shoulders are almost surely weak. In CrossFit you are using your shoulders on perhaps 75% of exercises- all the pulling and pushing exercises and even some cardio exercises (jump rope, rowing).
What many of us don’t know is that we have two distinct groups of muscles that make up our shoulders. People can have big and strong shoulders because they have gone to the gym and used machines and free weights. They have strengthened the big muscles of the shoulder (Trapezius, Deltoid, Latissimus Dorsi, Teres Major, Pectoralis major and minor).
Major on the Minors- Really?
However, oftentimes the 4 rotator cuff muscles are still very weak (Infraspinatus, Teres Minor, Supraspinatus, Subscapularis). These small rotator cuff muscles make sure the shoulder “slides and glides.” They keep the shoulder socket healthy and balanced where the humerus bone can move exactly as it should in the socket. CrossFit will quickly strengthen our 6 major shoulder muscles- especially the Deltoid muscle. When the Deltoid gets strong, without a strong set of rotator cuff muscles, it creates a shoulder impingement. These are usually (my guess is 90% of the time) the cause of shoulder problems in beginning CrossFitters.
At CrossFit Crescent, we put together a short 8-minute video that shows the 7 exercises that can bulletproof your shoulders for the months and years ahead. You will find everything you need for strengthening these rotator cuff muscles. Obviously, when we strengthen muscles we also need to stretch and work on mobility in the joint. You can watch this video by Kelly Starrett on using bands for shoulder mobility. Mobility and strengthened rotator cuffs will give us incredible long-term shoulder health!
In the Meantime
If you do have a severe shoulder injury and can only run and use your legs right now, check out our special Running Guide for Amman. We’ve got many details for you including running events and the best places to train. This can be a great time to focus on building your endurance. We picked the top 8 places to run in Amman. Then given you a map of the routes, distances, running surface, where to park, and so much more!
We even created a healthy Restaurant and Grocery guide specific to Amman Jordan to help you get started. Sign up and we’ll send you the free download! We give you the 8 best grocery stores and 8 best restaurants in Amman for healthy living. You will find their locations, ratings, cost, selections, quality and much more. Even if injured, you can focus on your nutrition and continue to get more fit and healthy while you rehabilitate your shoulders.
If you are new to Amman, or just starting your journey in fitness in Amman, you should check out our 5 Fitness Tips for moving to Amman. We can help make your transition smooth!