Getting to know our shoulders and their function
The shoulders are one of the largest and most complex joints in our bodies.
They also have one of the highest rates of injury amongst adults, especially those who exercise incorrectly.
One of these common injuries occurs around the rotator cuff.
The rotator cuff is a collection of muscles and tendons that surround our shoulders. This helps to support them and allows a wider range of motion (moves more freely without pain or tightness).
Another major part of our shoulder joint is the labrum. This creates a cup like slot for the ball shape head of the humerus to fit into. The humerus is the bone of the upper arm.
Last but not least, the shoulder needs fluid to help protect and act as a cushion. This helps protect the tendons of the rotator cuff.
Regular shoulder exercises can help ensure this joint stays heathy.
Sounds complicated hey? Dont be scared, this is where I come in and help you understand it all!
Now we have a basic understanding of our shoulders, how can I improve their health and longevity to ensure they stay injury free, especially once I start exercise you ask?
My personal experience with shoulder exercises with past and previous clients, and even myself, is quite simple... keep it light and keep it controlled.
What does this mean?
Choose a light object to use when working the shoulders, especially when first introducing shoulder movements. Remember, our goal is not to pack on lbs of muscle in a small amount of time, so we won't need extremely heavy equipment to progress in making our shoulders stronger and healthier.
Big shoulders doesn't mean healthy shoulders!
Don't be fooled by the "boulder shoulders" we see more frequently these days.
These people usually have specific reasons or goals as to why they work so exclusively on creating thick, dense shoulders packed with muscle. These could include bodybuilding competitors, physique models and athletes or people aiming their goals towards aesthetics.
They do look awesome we all must admit.
The reason I mention this is because with big muscles come disadvantages. One of these disadvantages can be a lack or loss of range of motion. This can be managed by daily stretching and mobility training (to be discussed in future blogs).
Once we completly lose our full range of motion it can be tricky and time-consuming to get it back to how it once was at its peak.
Another reason this can cause unhealthy shoulders is the heavy weight needed to produce thick, heavy shoulders is going to have to be heavy, and as we all know with heavy weight comes more risk of injury.
This isn't to say lifting heavy weights is a bad thing, but it does come with its risks and unless you are looking to compete in competition or pack on muscle mass, we won't need heavy weights.
So, now you have a little bit more of an understanding on your shoulders, I am going to show you 4 easy-to-do at home exercises to strengthen the entire shoulder joint and help shape it up!
Click below to try them out!