The Wrong Way to Strengthen Your Shoulder

Many ath­letes and phys­i­cal­ly active peo­ple expe­ri­ence shoul­der prob­lems – pain, weak­ness, or stiff­ness in some com­bi­na­tion.

Maybe you’re one of them — your shoulder’s injured from throw­ing a foot­ball or swing­ing a ten­nis rack­et, too many laps in the pool, or sim­ply try­ing to man­age an unruly dog who’s con­stant­ly jerk­ing on the leash.

Even if you’ve been lucky enough not to throw your shoul­der out of whack from activ­i­ty, there’s anoth­er risk to avoid — inac­tiv­i­ty.

Your shoul­der can also wear down from long hours spent tap­ping com­put­er keys, scrolling with your mouse, and gen­er­al­ly not get­ting out to play.

Top 5 Exercises to Strengthen You Shoulder and Avoid Rotator Cuff Problems

Special for Your Body of Knowledge Readers: Only $9.95 (Regular Value $17.95)

 

Discover the simple ways to keep your shoulders on the healthy path.
Start today.

 
You’re not alone if you have shoul­der prob­lems. Ortho­pe­dists esti­mate that about 600,000 shoul­der surg­eries are per­formed in the Unit­ed States each year.  And the cas­es that require surgery are only a small frac­tion — the worst of the worst.

In light of these dis­mal sta­tis­tics, strength­en­ing your shoul­der mus­cles sounds like a good idea. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, every sports train­er, fit­ness instruc­tor, and phys­i­cal ther­a­pist seems to have his or her own strat­e­gy for strength­en­ing shoul­der mus­cles.

And approach­ing shoul­der exer­cise the wrong way can back­fire.

Where Danger Lurks

You prob­a­bly already know that the shoul­der joint is a clas­sic “ball and sock­et” joint.

The end of the arm bone (they call it the “humerus”) is the ball.  Bril­liant­ly sculpt­ed to work in har­mo­ny with the ball, a cav­i­ty on the shoul­der blade (the “scapu­la”) forms the sock­et.

Anatomy of Rotator Cuff Muscles

Anato­my of Rota­tor Cuff Mus­cles

But dan­ger lurks just a few mil­lime­ters above this har­mo­nious geom­e­try. Less than half an inch above the humerus there’s a bony shelf formed by the clav­i­cle and scapu­la.

Even while its gyrat­ing through its full range of motion, your arm bone has to fit under­neath this bony out­crop­ping.

But wait — there’s more.

There also has to be room for the ten­dons of the rota­tor cuff mus­cles. It’s easy to pic­ture this space get­ting con­strict­ed, and when it does your rota­tor cuff is sure to expe­ri­ence fric­tion and inflam­ma­tion.

The Key to Rotator Cuff Rehabilitation (And Avoiding Problems in the First Place)

You’ve got to keep your arm bone in a cen­tered posi­tion with­in the shoul­der sock­et.

If the humerus rides up in the joint space, you’re going to expe­ri­ence impinge­ment against the over­ly­ing shelf formed by the clav­i­cle and acromion. That will unleash a cas­cade of prob­lems.

That means you need to devel­op bal­anced strength in the mus­cles that anchor the arm bone in the joint.

The prob­lem is that most of the time we don’t think about these mus­cles at all. Instead, we think about the mus­cles that move your arm in space – push­ing, pulling, swing­ing, lift­ing, reach­ing, and all those oth­er exter­nal actions.

That’s a short­com­ing of most shoul­der exer­cise pro­grams.

You start by hold­ing a weight (or the pad of an exer­cise machine, or a strand of elas­tic band) in your hand. Then you move your arm through an arc in space.

With this type of exer­cise, your mus­cles are orga­nized to con­trol what’s hap­pen­ing way out at the end of your arm – where the weight is mov­ing through space. Your mus­cles aren’t being trained to con­trol what’s hap­pen­ing at the near end of your arm – where the ball fits into the shoul­der joint.

If your arm bone is improp­er­ly posi­tioned in the sock­et, all those reps you’re doing are rein­forc­ing the neg­a­tive pat­tern of impinge­ment.  That will give you shoul­der prob­lems down the road – or make today’s shoul­der prob­lems worse.

The Secret That’s Missing from Most Shoulder Exercise Programs

To address this chal­lenge in the design of exer­cis­es for the shoul­der, I’ve devel­oped a short video – Dr. Lavine’s Top 5 Exer­cis­es to Strength­en Your Shoul­der and Avoid Rota­tor Cuff Prob­lems.

This video intro­duces you to the right ways to exer­cise your shoul­der. It incor­po­rates an inge­nious exer­cise I’ve devised to strength­en the mus­cles that sup­port the arm bone in the shoul­der sock­et. And there are four oth­er core shoul­der exer­cis­es too.

And it will take you less than ten min­utes a day to keep your shoul­der work­ing opti­mal­ly.

If you already have shoul­der prob­lems, these exer­cis­es could play an impor­tant role in alle­vi­at­ing them. And if you want to avoid devel­op­ing prob­lems for the future, this video will be invalu­able too.

Start today.

Read­ers of Your Body of Knowl­edge receive the spe­cial price of only $9.95. (Reg­u­lar Val­ue $17.95)

Once you con­firm your pur­chase, you’ll imme­di­ate­ly receive a return e-mail with a link to the down­load­able video. It’s filled with the valu­able infor­ma­tion you need to get your shoul­ders work­ing and feel­ing right.

And don’t wor­ry — if you’re not sat­is­fied, you can eas­i­ly get a full refund any time in the first thir­ty days, no ques­tions asked.

Top 5 Exercises to Strengthen You Shoulder and Avoid Rotator Cuff Problems

Special for Your Body of Knowledge Readers: Only $9.95 (Regular Value $17.95)

 

Discover the simple ways to keep your shoulders on the healthy path.
Start today.

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About Ronald Lavine, D.C.

Dr. Lavine has more than thirty years' experience helping patients alleviate pain and restore health using diverse, scientifically-based manual therapy and therapeutic exercise and alignment methods.

His website, askdrlavine.com, provides more information about his approach.

Please contact him at drlavine@yourbodyofknowledge.com or at 212-400-9663.

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