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Inside the Shoulder: Anatomy, Problems and Prevention (Pt. III/III)

Preventing is always better than curing, and nobody disagrees! But it takes more time, effort, brains and being proactive about it... So, how do you take the reins of a simple prehab shoulder routine? First, you make time for it because it can prevent an injury, and keep your shoulders happy (maybe even be able to lift more!). Second, you milk the benefits. Let's go back to where we started: remember how the shoulder is the most mobile joint in our body? Well, it takes a lot of structures, many of them passive, like the capsule and ligaments, to keep it together and in the right place. A good stretch for these is to give them some breathing room and distraction (decompression of the shoulder cavity) by laying face-down on a bench/table (or standing, and using one as support), shoulder overhanging the edge, and holding onto a light weight. Making a pendulum movement, some circles, swinging it lightly back and forth, in and out will alleviate some accumulated congestion within the shoulder joint. It looks just like this: table lay table stand It's also important to stretch the active structures in the shoulder region: the muscles and tendons. For this, there's an infinity of variables, with equipment,  and without. Some, you do daily without even thinking about it (your warm-up with a PVC, waking up all that mobility range, and slowly opening up those sleepy shoulders is considered stretching). Here's a few examples: pvc int  pvc ext sleeper table flag Now, how do we strengthen those small, stabilizing muscles (the Rotator Cuff), which are crucial in shoulder health? With more infinite, yet simple, resisted movement patterns. You should use light elastic band resistance, and aim for high reps in every movement plane and axis of the shoulder, meaning: flexion, extension, abduction, adduction, internal and external rotations, diagonals and cross-over patterns. If this is too much for you to absorb in writing and you cannot picture it, I suggest you head over to the rig in the back, and follow the Crossover Symmetry guide in photos for a great warm-up and cuff strengthening routine. No matter how hot you think your heavy lifts are, you want to know these facts, have a ready guide, and a prehab routine to stick to. So, give your shoulders the TLC they deserve before you end up looking like this shoulder ice