Weight a minute! 🏋️

Hi everybody, apologise this blog should come out on the weekend but it was Bank Holiday so going away was the order of the day.

Well here it is, the last blog of our shoulder series that we have been running throughout May.

The Bank Holiday wasn't all rest though. On the Saturday we delivered another shoulder CPD course in Warwickshire and, as you may have seen on Facebook, Gina managed to pull Sid the skeletons arm clean off! Right in the middle of her lecture about the rotator cuff muscle group🤣

I assume Sid was having a joint stability issue, probably due to the fact he actually has no muscles to stabilise the joint in the first place!

This distressing incident leads me, however, to the topic of this week's blog, which is that of Shoulder stability in weight training.

In the blogs to date we have discussed mainly the importance of the shoulder sitting centrally and how to avoid the protracted position that our modern lifestyle easily creates. We looked at how that affected everyday activities and also how it created pain and injury in both swimming and cycling. However an awful lot of gym goers also come through our door with debilitating shoulder pain that has usually, although not exclusively, occurred during a bench press.

Historically they will have been a few sets into a heavy bench press 😤 with a 'free bar' not a machine, suddenly the shoulder has given way accompanied by sharp pain. Luckily the spotters have grabbed the weight from the lifter.

So, what has actually happened here 🤔, it's an incredibly common injury and very easy to avoid too!

Quite simply this is a result of too much heavy lifting without engaging in the lighter and specific muscles required to ensure the shoulder stabilisers (the rotator cuff) are also up to the task.

With lots of heavy lifting, the large muscles have developed faster than the stabilisers can keep up with, the person then pushes the large muscles to complete failure during their heavy sets. At the point of failure, as all the large muscles give up, that massive weight suddenly comes through to the under- trained stabilisers which now get torn or strained trying to stop the person dropping the weight on themselves😧.

To rehabilitate this we need to work the rotator cuff muscles and to prevent it happening in the first place, or indeed, ever again, we need to always train the rotator cuff as a matter of course. Unfortunately this involves the use of incredibly small weights.....0.5 -1.5kg or light/beginner resistance bands. This kind of exercise in a heavy training environment can feel a little embarrassing and this may well be one of the reasons it is frequently ignored as part of a training session. Of course the reality is that if you do undertake rotator cuff and stability type exercises the lifts will in fact get bigger!.... and the injury occurrence lower!.....Who's the winner now🕺?

This issue is of course, not restricted to bench pressing, so if you want to try rotator cuff work then a quick internet search will reveal all the exercises you need, or nip into The Reinge Clinic for a bespoke training program.

Happy (and smug😏?) training.

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