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  • Exercises to strengthen stabilizer muscles.

    I went to see a Doc about my right arm weakness. He believes there is a nerve impingement in the set of nerves that comes off of the spine about 3/4 of the way up on the shoulder blade. He wants me to go do an EMG study to figure out exactly where the damage is but in the mean time( Its scheduled for the first week of Jan) he said to just keep on training but be careful. He did note that the stabilizer muscles in the shoulder/rotator cuff are not contracting with any real force, and there is atrophy in the rear delt, trap, medial delt, and bicep which he said is due to the fact that those muscles are not contracting with force coupled with a schedual enforced lay off from training.


    Is there any specific exercises I can do to start working on those stabilizer muscles around the upper back/shoulder area?

    He did mention that there is a small possibility of surgery to repair damage in that area depending on the results of the nerve study so I want to be overly cautious until he gives me the OK to go back to all out training. '


    Any advice is greatly appreciated.
    "Your not gonna find a bang maid cause theres no such thing."
    "I already did...your mom....good bye.".

  • #2
    Here is a list that I have put together. Your really going to want to go through James Smith AKA smittydiesel's youtube channel for shoulder rehab/prehab work also.

    Scapula/Rotator Cuff/Lower Trap


    Shoulder “W” Exercise (The exercise combines shoulder external rotation with scapular retraction and posterior tilt, definitely a great combo and advantageous for many people as it recruits the posterior rotator cuff (infraspinatus and teres minor) and the lower trapezius.
    http://www.mikereinold.com/2011/04/t...-exercise.html
    Posterior Shoulder Trigger Point Tennis Ball work
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=A1z8cEqMlns
    L,Y,T,P Shoulder Mobility by Nick T
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VyBJQ...6E90313BBC13FD
    Shoulder Mobility Awesome Drills by Joe DeFranco
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...v=-Lnqtibxboo#!
    “No Money” lower traps
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bCZhs...layer_embedded
    Scapular Wall Slides (keep chin tucked, with butt, head, and upper back, and wrists in contact with wall) on downward motion focus on pulling shoulder blades DOWN. For lower traps
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_dCKM...layer_embedded
    Anterior Wall Slides by Tony Gentilcore includes explanation and why
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4IGZTVInH1Y
    “No Money” lower traps
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bCZhs...layer_embedded
    Resistance Band Work
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XuBvH...&feature=g-all
    21 yrs. old
    NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist
    Precision Nutrition Certified

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    • #3
      Wow Prime, THANKS!
      "Your not gonna find a bang maid cause theres no such thing."
      "I already did...your mom....good bye.".

      Comment


      • #4
        I'd work on a few things:

        1. Serratus Anterior - Scap Pushups & 1-Arm DB Protraction on a bench
        2. Balance your training - Do an equal volume of scapular retraction to scapular protraction, scapular depression to scapular elevation, and humeral external rotation to humeral internal rotation. I can give you specifics of each if you need it.
        3. DO NOT dedicate a day to shoulders....this goes hand in hand with the last one.
        4. Get some tissue work. If you can afford massage like deep tissue, ART, or Graston, do that. If not get a foam roller and a lacrosse ball and make sure you get that ball all around the shoulder blade and posterior shoulder.
        5. Work on your core strength and limit trunk flexion. When you train too much trunk flexion the rectus femoris gets too tight, pulls the rib cage downward and can cause kyphosis (shoulders rounding forward). Excessive kyphotic postures have biomechanical implications at the shoulder girdle. When your thoracic spine gets too kyphotic, the scapulae abduct (protract) so that they slide outward on the rib cage (toward your arms). This repositions the aforementioned acromion process, as the entire scapula becomes anteriorly tilted. An anteriorly tilted scapula dramatically increases the risk of impingement on those rotator cuff tendons.
        6. Temporarily ditch the bar for benches and squats. It doesn't give the hand & shoulder joint the ability to move and causes internal rotation at the shoulder. Until pain subsides, stick with DBs.
        7. In general work on the common weakness in mobility/stability. For most guys that is the ankle dorsiflexion (pulling your toes to your shins), glute activation, thoracic mobility, etc. All these put you into poor posture and mess up the proper use of many of the muscles and often the low back and the shoulder are the first to show signs of it. But, the root of the problem can definately be lower in the kinetic chain.

        In general I'd suggest a quality dynamic warmup and a group of stability and mobility drills to do before every strength training workout, in addition to making sure to balance your training, ditching the barbell for a while, strengthen the core, and do some tissue work. I will try to stop back with a list of a good warmup of drills and stability exercises later once I have time, but Prime gave some good ones.

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        • #5
          Thanks Knickerbocker! My training schedual as it is now follow's DC's 3 way split in terms of bodypart rotation but with lighter weight and more volume due to my impingement. I do not rotate exercises or restpause.

          Exercises I use are :
          Decline Bench
          Lateral Raises
          CGBP/ dumbell skullcrushers
          Wide grip pullups
          dumbell rows
          squats
          lying leg curl
          calf raises both standing and seated
          dumbell curls.

          I will switch my pressing to dumbells as suggested. what else would you change if anything?

          Thanks for the help!
          "Your not gonna find a bang maid cause theres no such thing."
          "I already did...your mom....good bye.".

          Comment


          • #6
            Awesome thread guys. Can I repost these morsels gents?

            Sent from my DROID X2 using Tapatalk
            International Elite Raw Powerlifter
            Blood - Sweat - Chalk

            Comment


            • #7
              I'm sure a PT will give me some rehab to do after my EMG gets done, but If anyone would like to have it here for educational purposes I'd be happy to post up the EMG results as well as do a rehab log. I'm 100% sure that I'm not the first person who trains to run into this problem and figure the info could be useful to others that run into the situation.
              "Your not gonna find a bang maid cause theres no such thing."
              "I already did...your mom....good bye.".

              Comment


              • #8
                I work as an ET in a PT office (lol), and I think everything is spot on here (awesome links), maybe also overhead shrugging along with the scap wall slides and band pullouts (pullaparts) with the w's.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Get some ART done.
                  "You can't be the fastest or the strongest but you can always work the hardest." - Jim Wendler

                  "Failing is nothing more than inexperience" - Jim Wendler

                  "You won't have to rotate squats and deadlifts, but do them both and thus get more fucking awesome every week" - cooltom

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by LandryP View Post
                    Get some ART done.
                    Anything besides the EMG will have to sit on the back burner for a bit until I hear what the doc has to say simply due to money. I dont have health insurance because our company was dropped by the insurance company so I'm paying cash for the Doc. The massage's and stuff just kind of have to wait at least until after my appointment with the doc. But right after that I'll definately look into it.
                    "Your not gonna find a bang maid cause theres no such thing."
                    "I already did...your mom....good bye.".

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Well, you certainly have more scapular protraction and humeral internal rotation (decline bench, close grip bench, & pull ups) than you do scapular retraction (db rows), and you have no external rotation or scapular depression. I would first get a foam roller and lacrosse ball, you can get both for $15 total & I promise you will get well worth your money. I'd follow a similar set up for a warmup. I included tissue work with a foam roller and lacrosse ball, a dynamic warmup, some mobility drills, and some stability work.

                      Foam Roll
                      -IT Band/Tensor Fasciae Latae
                      -Quads
                      -Hip Flexors
                      -Adductors
                      -Hamstrings
                      -Lats
                      -Pecs
                      -Rhomboids
                      -Thoracic Extension

                      Lacrosse Ball Tissue Work
                      -Pec Minor/Major
                      -All around the scapula
                      -Posterior shoulder

                      Warm-ups (preferably, barefoot)
                      -Quadruped Extension-Rotation
                      -Side Lying Thoracic Rotation
                      -1-leg Supine Bridge 1x8/side
                      -Split-Stance Kneeling Adductor Mobs 1x8/side
                      -Wall Hip Flexor Mobs 1x8/side
                      -Wall Ankle Mobs 1x8/side
                      -Squat to Stand 1x6
                      -Walking Spiderman w/Overhead Reach 1x5/side
                      -Cross-Behind Overhead Reverse
                      -No Money Drill

                      Stability Exercises - 15-20 reps of each (2 sets)
                      -Side Lying DB Humeral External Rotation
                      -Scap Pushups
                      -1-Arm DB Protraction
                      -SB Prone T’s, Y’s, and W’s
                      -Behind the Neck Ball Pull Downs
                      -St Arm Lat Pull Down
                      -Prone Internal Rotation on Bench
                      -Forearm Wall Slides with Band
                      -Quadruped Chin Tucks


                      This sounds like a lot but it's really not. The tissue work and dynamic warmup is something everyone should always do, but especially for folks with postural issues it's even more important. The stability stuff will probably take you 15-20 minutes. You could even split them up and do half one day and half the other day. I hope that's helpful. If you youtube any of them you will find videos...I know these aren't common to folks outside the S&C & rehab settings as many are corrective exercises.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Wow, awesome posts by knickerbocker!

                        Originally posted by Shawn "Future" Bellon View Post
                        Awesome thread guys. Can I repost these morsels gents?

                        Sent from my DROID X2 using Tapatalk
                        I just copied them myself in research, so by all means repost.
                        21 yrs. old
                        NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist
                        Precision Nutrition Certified

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          No problem guys...happy to help.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Great thread. What should first stop be as far as reading material regarding muscular imbalance diagnosis and prevention/correction. Preferably non technical...
                            Overtraining should be one of the lowest concerns. You should focus on optimal training.
                            -John Ceasar

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Knickerbocker24 View Post
                              Well, you certainly have more scapular protraction and humeral internal rotation (decline bench, close grip bench, & pull ups) than you do scapular retraction (db rows), and you have no external rotation or scapular depression. I would first get a foam roller and lacrosse ball, you can get both for $15 total & I promise you will get well worth your money. I'd follow a similar set up for a warmup. I included tissue work with a foam roller and lacrosse ball, a dynamic warmup, some mobility drills, and some stability work.

                              Foam Roll
                              -IT Band/Tensor Fasciae Latae
                              -Quads
                              -Hip Flexors
                              -Adductors
                              -Hamstrings
                              -Lats
                              -Pecs
                              -Rhomboids
                              -Thoracic Extension

                              Lacrosse Ball Tissue Work
                              -Pec Minor/Major
                              -All around the scapula
                              -Posterior shoulder

                              Warm-ups (preferably, barefoot)
                              -Quadruped Extension-Rotation
                              -Side Lying Thoracic Rotation
                              -1-leg Supine Bridge 1x8/side
                              -Split-Stance Kneeling Adductor Mobs 1x8/side
                              -Wall Hip Flexor Mobs 1x8/side
                              -Wall Ankle Mobs 1x8/side
                              -Squat to Stand 1x6
                              -Walking Spiderman w/Overhead Reach 1x5/side
                              -Cross-Behind Overhead Reverse
                              -No Money Drill

                              Stability Exercises - 15-20 reps of each (2 sets)
                              -Side Lying DB Humeral External Rotation
                              -Scap Pushups
                              -1-Arm DB Protraction
                              -SB Prone T’s, Y’s, and W’s
                              -Behind the Neck Ball Pull Downs
                              -St Arm Lat Pull Down
                              -Prone Internal Rotation on Bench
                              -Forearm Wall Slides with Band
                              -Quadruped Chin Tucks


                              This sounds like a lot but it's really not. The tissue work and dynamic warmup is something everyone should always do, but especially for folks with postural issues it's even more important. The stability stuff will probably take you 15-20 minutes. You could even split them up and do half one day and half the other day. I hope that's helpful. If you youtube any of them you will find videos...I know these aren't common to folks outside the S&C & rehab settings as many are corrective exercises.
                              WOW Outstanding! Thanks for taking the time to type all of this out. I'll youtube these and start tomorrow.
                              "Your not gonna find a bang maid cause theres no such thing."
                              "I already did...your mom....good bye.".

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