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CrossFit-U Shoulder Workshop

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Shoulder Workshop at CrossFit U West Melbourne: …

Shoulder Workshop at CrossFit U West Melbourne:
Overview of shoulder anatomy and function, common complaints in the CrossFit athlete and strategies to help prevent injury, improve performance and enhance awareness of general shoulder health.


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  • 1. “δῶς μοι πᾶ στῶ καὶ τὰν γᾶν κινάσω” “Give me a firm spot on which to stand, and I shall move the Earth” (Archimedes)
  • 2.      Anatomy of the Shoulder Posture/Lifestyle How/why you get injured or lack optimal performance Common problem areas with the shoulder in CrossFit What you can do  Practical Component
  • 3. The shoulder complex consists of three bones: Scapula Humerus Clavicle The joints of the Shoulder are:  Sternoclavicular  Acromioclavicular  Glenohumeral
  • 4. The shoulder attaches to the trunk through muscle and connective tissue.  Therefore the postural position of the spine has a huge influence on shoulder position… 
  • 5. Our posture is important to consider during our daily activity…… And during our sport & leisure time as well.
  • 6. Consider this…. 8-9 hours sitting at desk 5days/week vs 1 hour of CrossFit 3 x/week!!!
  • 7. Increased cervical spine extension (chin poke)  Increased thoracic spine flexion  Increased stiffness of costovertebral joints & the ribcage  Increased protraction & elevation of the scapula  Increased anterior and superior humeral head position  Increased ACJ stiffness 
  • 8. Increased tightness & shortening of:  Pecs, scalenes, upper trapezius, levator scapulae, lats, suboccipitals  Posterior rotator cuff & posterior joint capsule  Connective tissue and nerve tissue anteriorly  C5/6 joint & nerve
  • 9. Weakness or poor activation of:  Lower traps, rhomboids, serratus anterior,  Rotator Cuff (four muscle complex cuff)  Deep abdominals & upper abdominals  Deep neck stabilising muscles
  • 10. Nerve roots exit the spinal cord at the lower cervical spine to supply the shoulder girdle  Stiffness or irritation of the nerve roots will alter nerve firing times so alter muscle activation timing.  Nerve root irritation or stretch can cause pain, P&N, numb, weakness. 
  • 11.    Pain! Front, Back, Neck, „inside the joint‟, Armpit area/under, referral into upper arm, sore elbows/wrists Unable to lock out the arms in an overhead position Excessive arching of the back when going into the overhead position (lack of shoulder range)
  • 12.    Unable to get a good rack position and also to keep this rack position at the bottom of a squat Excessive internal rotation of shoulders and rounding of the back Unable to keep „active shoulders‟ during pulls ups, toes to bar
  • 13. MOBILITY  Trunk Mobility & Flexibility exercises  Chest/anterior stretching & flexibility and release work STABILITY  Trunk Posture & Stability muscle retraining!  Shoulder blade re-education  Deep Neck Flexor retraining  Rotator Cuff Activation & Strengthening
  • 14. INTERGRATION OF MOVEMENT  Glenohumeral Joint “Dissociation” movement  Integrating Rotator Cuff muscle activation into global weights exercises  Combining Trunk stability + Shoulder blade stability + Rotator Cuff Function into each exercise
  • 15. By permission, thanks Matt!
  • 16. Jac Annie Alex Ben jacindagruebner@purephysio.com.au anitamccrystal@purephysio.com.au alex@crossfit-u.com ben@crossfit-u.com

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