Happy Monday. Last week we went over the best slow releasing carb to consume in the morning for breakfast, providing you with sustained morning fuel minus the post-breakfast lethargy and crash. This week we’re back to gaining a workout edge, by learning how to get – and/or keep – your shoulders healthy.
We demand a lot from our shoulders – it’s about time you learn how to listen to their demands as well.
Let’s get started.
If it’s one story I’ve heard consistently over the years, it’s guys (and girls) whining about how they can’t do [insert here] because of what it does to their shoulders.
“I can’t do exercise xyz it makes my shoulders hurt!”
“I can’t do abc stretches, it really fucks my shoulders up!”
“I can’t seem to get past this weight plateau, my shoulders hurt whenever I try and go heavy!”
The list goes on, and on, and on.
Gentlemen (and ladies), I’ve got a very important announcement to make:
It’s not the exercise that’s giving your shoulders grief – it’s the shitty things you do…and the wise things you don’t do – that give your shoulders grief.
You read right.
If you haven’t laid a solid foundation, how can you ever expect to build a solid house?
Whenever I hear people complain about shoulder problems, then proceed to ask me for advice, I usually tell them one thing…
“Your mobility probably sucks.”
Go into any gym and you’re sure to find vanity lifters. I say “vanity” because fitness culture is now becoming the “trendy” thing to do, meaning among the real, hardcore lifters, you’ll always find the ones that do it for purely aesthetic reasons or simply, to see and be seen in the gym.
Working out is not a beauty contest, it is a science.
A science that like a patient disciple, you learn about…learn from…and learn to respect, year after year.
With that science, comes methodology…but I’ll bring things back to layman’s terms for now.
I’ve realized over the years that most people know about weight lifting, stretching, cardio, conditioning, and calisthenics training. They understand the importance of stretching after a warmup and workout, and never stretching cold.
But talk about mobility and stability to someone and more often than not, you’ll see a glazed look come over their eyes and face, almost as if mobility is some optional thing in the art of working out.
So here’s the quick and dirty explanation of what mobility means for your shoulders:
If you give a crap about being able to do something as simple as lift your arms over your head with ease, you will care about mobility.
If you give a crap about increasing some real size, strength, and conditioning in your shoulders and linked muscles, you will care about mobility.
If you give a crap about lasting longer in hand-to-hand combat, you absolutely care about mobility.
Mobility is essentially what your shoulders, wrists, ankles, and hips are designed for – having healthy movement in daily activities, without injury.
I go in depth about mobility, stability, and flexibility, what they all mean, how they function, and what you can do to improve all three in my book SUPP UP. No Bull, Gym In A Bag Workout Guide. Check it out now.
They’re all tied into each other, meaning you won’t truly benefit if you take care of one, but not the others. Mobility, however, can improve your lifts, keep you loose during sparring, and makes sure you don’t wind up like a younger version of the life alert lady.
So when you think about it, many people do neglect this underrated and misunderstood attribute of the body – but generally those same people are the ones that scream “my shoulders are too messed up!” when you suggest anything remotely sensible as a solution.
Be the sensible one.
Ditch the bro science, and take a moment to assess yourself.
How good is your flexbility? Range of motion? How stable are you when it comes to being in the hole during a barbell back squat? Can you do the military press, or overhead tricep extensions with zero pain and strict form?
If you have to think twice on any of these questions, now’s the time to acknowledge what you’ve been neglecting, and start focusing on the details you never deemed as important. Then go ahead and work towards improving your shoulder mobility, and contact me if you’d like to share what you’ve discovered.
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If you really like this post, but don’t have the SUPP UP. books yet, buy SUPP UP. No Bull, Gym In A Bag Workout Guide now, as a paperback or E-book, and discover great ways to get more out of your workouts while travelling or on the go (preview of chapters available in shop).
Drop by next week for yet another great post to add to your workout and nutrition arsenal.
Stop doing guesswork, start making the necessities of your life easier.
SUPP UP. – Get your copies now.
If You Know How To Fuel and Train Your Body, Where You Are Matters Less.™
– SUPP UP.
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