When new folks enter my CrossFit Box, I do know that considered one of two issues will occur within the subsequent three months:
- People will complain about decrease again soreness/ache; or
- People will complain about shoulder soreness/ache.
Now, earlier than we begin to blame CrossFit for these points, let me make it clear that we’re not speaking about accidents. As I discussed above, folks describe it as a ache or heavy soreness. They nonetheless have a full vary of movement, however they simply really feel stiff and sore.
I had the identical expertise after I began with CrossFit, and after a whole lot of analysis and testing, I lastly began to grasp what was happening.
In CrossFit, we use our hips and shoulders quite a bit. We do Olympic lifts, deadlifts, kettlebell swings, pull-ups, handstand push-ups, and many others.—all exercises that can problem the talked about areas.
In my case, I used to be coming from a standard Monday-to-Friday desk jockey job the place I might sit many of the day, typing on my keyboard. My core muscular tissues would keep unengaged many of the day attributable to sitting, and my shoulders had realized to hold in a foul inside rotated place, making them weak and stiff. I had been doing that for ten years earlier than I began doing CrossFit 3–4 instances every week.
Do you see what I’m coming to?
For ten years, I had been working closely on making my hips and shoulders weak and stiff, solely to all of the sudden hit them arduous with demanding exercises—it’s not unusual that I felt ache and soreness.
What Causes Weak and Stiff Shoulders
Most folks at present sit for round 7–15 hours a day (if you would like, you possibly can calculate your own sitting time here). Besides creating an precise health threat, it additionally has a big effect on our musculoskeletal methods. The greatest muscular tissues in our physique—the glutes—change into weak, and our hamstrings and hip flexors change into quick. The consequence is that we’re not capable of transfer with a full vary of movement and our our bodies need to compensate with one other sort of muscle exercise now that the large guys not work accurately.
For the shoulders, the problems that we face are additionally associated to our sedentary life-style—or mentioned in one other approach, it’s associated to what we do after we are sitting. Writing on a keyboard, holding a mouse, texting on a mobile phone, or driving: we spend hour after hour with our arms in entrance of us.
The result’s stiff and weak shoulders that aren’t working the way in which they’re speculated to and, subsequently, can’t deal with what we count on from them.
Stiff and Weak Shoulder Fixes
Above was what I skilled after I began CrossFit, however I used to be additionally so fortunate to seek out options for the issues. Now I’ve been doing CrossFit for a few years with out points, and if one thing seems, I do know what to do. Let me present you some fixes which have labored properly for lots of my purchasers and me as properly.
Exercises for Stiff Shoulders:
Scapular Retraction and Protraction
We begin with this straightforward motion that, for some, may be troublesome as a result of our shoulders have been inactive for a very long time.
- Start with palms flat towards a wall, arms totally prolonged.
- Push your self backward with a motion solely within the shoulders—arms keep prolonged. Shoulder blades needs to be as far aside as attainable.
- Reverse the motion by pushing your self ahead with out bending the arms. Shoulder blades ought to get as shut collectively as attainable.
- Don’t shrug your shoulders through the motion—they need to keep down.
- Do it slowly and managed.
- Get as a lot vary of movement as attainable.
Do 10–12 repetitions for 3 rounds.
The subsequent degree could be to do the very same exercise however from a push-up place. It’s completely high quality to start out on knees and then transfer on to a correct push-up place if you find yourself prepared.
Again, we wish to prioritize kind over all the pieces else.
For this exercise, you want a bar which you can pull your self from, however let’s begin to be taught the motion on the bottom.
- Raise your arms above your head as if you happen to needed to push towards the ceiling.
- Lower your shoulders with out bending your arms.
- Reverse and press your shoulders up once more.
When now we have a superb feeling about this, it’s time to attempt it on a bar. Simply cling from a bar and pull your self up solely utilizing the shoulders and with out bending your arms. It is perhaps harder than it sounds.
Repetitions needs to be round 5–10 and performed for 3 rounds.
Scapular Press / Handstand Pushup
This is likely one of the greatest exercises for weak shoulders and is troublesome however may be modified to a neater model.
The movement is similar as above, however the problem shall be to press above the top. There are two methods to do it.
- Stand with a manageable weight overhead. A barbell or two dumbbells are most well-liked.
- Press the weight up solely utilizing the scapulars.
- Reverse the motion and repeat.
- Keep arms shoulder-width aside.
A harder model is to do the identical however in a handstand.
Of course, many stretches exist for stiff shoulders, however that is considered one of my favourite ones as a result of it covers a whole lot of muscular tissues and joints. Sink stretch proves to be among the best exercises for stiff shoulders.
- Stand with you again towards one thing which you can maintain on to—sink, bar, and many others.
- Start with a large grip.
- Extend your arms totally behind you.
- Make positive that shoulders will not be rolled ahead; they should again and down.
- Lower your self to use the stretch.
- Hold for 1–2min
- The extra versatile you change into, the extra slender a grip you possibly can take, and the decrease you possibly can go.
If you wish to check out extra higher physique stretches, you possibly can see some right here.
Lacrosse Ball Massage
There is one factor I at all times carry after I’m out touring—my therapeutic massage ball. I exploit a lacrosse ball as a result of it’s textured, and the dimensions is nice for this objective, however you possibly can undoubtedly discover different sorts of balls that can work as properly.
Some folks like to do that on the ground, which means that they place the ball on the ground and then lay on the ball in order that the physique creates the stress. I desire to do it towards a wall as a result of I’ve extra management of the stress.
- Start with the ball towards a wall. Press into the ball with the purpose just below your collarbone.
- With small actions again and forth, cowl the whole space underneath your collarbone
- Continue the identical approach on the entrance of your shoulder.
- Then your aspect of the shoulder.
- Then the higher a part of your shoulder.
- Then area between your shoulder blade and backbone.
- Below your shoulder blade.
- And lastly, the lats.
Spend 5 minutes on every website.
I warn you, you possibly can change into hooked on this!
You have now realized learn how to repair your stiff and weak shoulders. The first exercise will regain full vary of movement and make them stronger, and the final two exercises will make it easier to with the stiffness.
Over to you!
My title is Henrik Nielsen.
I’m co-owner and head coach at CrossFit Landskrona in Sweden.I’m additionally the founding father of Fits-Me which delivers on-line body weight training for any health degree.