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coaching strength training

Shoulder injuries suck!

I’ve been battling with mine for the past couple of years. First, it was the left shoulder and now that it’s healed my right shoulder developed some minor muscle tears due to high-volume kettlebell training. I honestly don’t think it was the exercise or form (both were highly effective, I know because I videoed myself and got it checked by a certified expert too!) but my overall preparedness that got me into trouble.

What do I mean? Well, I did the amateur mistake of not warming up enough. At least not till the extent that I warm-up these days. The minimal warm-ups work but only when you’re doing minimal work like kettlebell swings and get-ups. For anything else, you’ve got to pay attention to how you’re preparing your body.

These days, I’m doing a lot of controlled articulated rotations (or CARs) followed by my beloved flexible steel complex before diving into my training program, which is mostly Kettlebell Swings, Cleans, and Goblet Squats. I cool down using a body movement exercise such as marching (sometimes loaded) or cross-crawl lunges. Even for my evening training (now that I’m stuck at home due to Coronavirus) I do the flexible steel complex followed by jiu-jitsu solo drills and cool off with Original Strength resets. That’s a lot of body movement and mobility work, right? Well, you’ve got to do them everyday without fail. I’ve come to believe that it doesn’t matter how old or young you are, if you can’t master your own body you can’t master a heavy weight. Period.

Would that make you injury proof? Not really. But the chances of you getting injured go significantly down. So, if you’re already exercising, more power to you! I recommend that you seriously consider a body movement or mobility system (flexible steel, CARs, or Original Strength or all three like I do) for your warm-ups and cool downs. They’ll take care of you. And no, the warm-up that you’re doing right now isn’t enough. The key isn’t just to get the heart-rate going but to ensure that your body is ready. There’s a difference. I neglected this and have literally paid a heavy price.

That said, if you’ve injured your shoulders and can’t go out right not to visit a physical therapist, I’ve picked up a few exercises (9 of them) you can do right at home. These drills will help you heal faster and who knows, by the time this damn thing (COVID-19) gets over you would have completely healed yourself! I’m hopeful that it will. Just takes a lot of patience. Do these everyday, ideally for 3 sets of 10 reps.

Resistance Exercises for Shoulder Pain. Note: You can skip exercise # 2 as we usually get internal rotation quite naturally. But go ahead if you feel like doing it.
Shoulder Abduction to 90 Degrees
External Rotation at 90 Degree Abduction
Shoulder Extension
Shoulder Flexion to 90 Degrees

If you think you don’t have the time to do these, you’re not being creative enough. There’s always time you just need to make it. While I understand not everyone has the time (or rather the interest) to train twice a day, if you’re injured, make an exception. At least for the next little while — do these in the evening and your body will rest and recover during the night. Just a thought.

Wishing you a speedy recovery!