Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Shoulder Health for Fighters

A lot of  fighters spend most of their time worrying about improving those attributes that make them a better fighter - like strength, speed, reaction time, etc... But very few spend much time thinking about the correction of muscle imbalances and the injuries that are associated with those imbalances.

This is a shame since muscle imbalances are extremely common among martial artists and these imbalances can lead to injury. Obviously, injuries will take you away from your training and that'll keep you from progressing and competing

Nobody wants that.

Among the most common places for a fighter to experience muscle imbalance and injury is the shoulder girdle. So, in this post, I'm going to share with you some strategies and exercises I use to my shoulders and the shoulders of those I work with healthy and strong.

Fixing Your Fucked Shoulders - 

Due to both the nature of combat sports and the nature of people's daily activities, muscular imbalances around the shoulder girdle are extremely common. Muscular imbalances that cause a constant internal rotation of the shoulder girdle are among the most common. So, that's what we'll be talking about today.

Punching, holding your "fighting posture", and over-utilization of pressing movements during strength & conditioning training all contribute to the excessive muscle tone in the pecs and anterior deltoid which, in turn, causes those internally rotated shoulders (commonly refered to as "rounded shoulders). Sitting in front of a computer or a TV screen with your back rounded and shoulders slouching for hours every day only exacerbates the issue further.

So, you end up with fucked shoulders. Why are they fucked? Well, internally rotated shoulders are weak shoulders. You're shoulders aren't built to sit that way and are more prone to injury.

Your goal, then, should be to fix the issue BEFORE it becomes a problem and you have to lay off fight training.

To most effectively get your shoulders back to where they need to be, you need to take a three pronged approach: Improve Mobility & Tissue Quality, Increase Flexibility, and Strengthen those muscles which are over-stretched and under-utilized.

In the video below, I outline some of the methods I use and recommend for healthy shoulders.

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