The Stiff Shoulder – The Surf “Ruiner”
Shoulder Flexion. That’s the ability to take your shoulder overhead into a vertical position. Try it. Does it grind, is it uncomfortable, is your arm totally vertical by the ear or sticking out forwards, did you have to arch your back, are you holding your breath? You need to get more shoulder flexion, or UPPER BODY MOBILITY. Without it, you’re basically slowly tearing apart your glenohumeral joint, and that tends to suck.
I talk a lot about the shoulder, restoring proper range of motion, increasing strength in a smart manner, restoring flexibility, and using soft-tissue methods to improve tissue health (spend some time looking through the posts under the category Shoulder Health… plenty of quality reading). I cover it so much, because I see so much wrong, bad, terrible, sad stuff, and lot’s of surfers in pain, and lot’s of surfers doing the wrong thing. Please stop. Improve your shoulder mobility. The test in the video covers a basic shoulder flexion test to see if you’ve got the flexibility/mobility, without compensating in the low back, neck, or rib cage. If you can’t get adequate shoulder flexion, which is tightly involved with how well your thoracic spine moves, then you’re compensating somewhere in the body and slowly tearing something apart.
If you can’t get your arms overhead, what do you think you’re doing to the joint when you paddle…. it ain’t free and easy movement! It’s probably causing low-grade inflammation and wear n’ tear in the shoulder, slowly screwing with some vertebral segments because of excessive low back arching, and limiting your paddling. The fascial stretch in the video is a good place to start loosening up the general area, but you also need to start looking at the muscles that are restricting the joint, the stiffness through the thoracic spine, and whether you’ve got something dysfunctional in the joint (that’s where you come see me or a qualified health practitioner).
Read These Two Posts Below For More Quick Fixes to Stiff Shoulders…
Tissue Work: Upper Body Stretches .. Shoulder Surf Stretches
Shoulder Release work – Tennis Ball / Lacrosse Ball.. Happy Surf Shoulders
Those two reads will get you started, and will very likely drastically improve your upper body mechanics. Shoulder pain sucks hard, so take some steps to make sure you don’t have to deal with it.
IF YOU CAN COMFORTABLY PRESS OVERHEAD!!!! THEN CHECK THIS OUT.. MY TOP OVERHEAD PRESSES
LEARN THE ENTIRE PROCESS TO RESTORING SHOULDER HEALTH
Essential Shoulders covers the entire process of restoring, rebuilding, or improving your upper body for surfing. Specific stretches to loosen up the thoracic spine (stop being a hunchback, no offence to true hunchbacks), and loosen up tight tissue throughout the upper body. Easy to follow videos that go over tennis ball release work to get rid of pain and spasm. And eventually it all leads into exercises to work on the rotator cuff, as well as the rest of the essential paddling muscles. Do your surfing a favour, check it out, I guarantee you’ll dig it.
Surf Shoulder Stretches, Pain Elimination Techniques, Strengthening Techniques, and all the other completely awesome and beneficial stuff with Surf Training Success. Improve your body so you can stay in the water and surf your ass off!!!