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Old 02-14-2009, 01:22 AM   #1
Donald Lee
Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 646
Default Mel Siff on Shoulder Dislocates

Since we all seem to love the shoulder dislocates, I thought this might be of interest to us:

Rosemary Vernon:

< BTW, I had mentioned shoulder dislocates in a prior post. Pavel recommends
using a bungee cord rather than a dowel. Not a bad idea. Every golfer has a
bungee cord; they're used to strap their bag full of clubs into the cart.>

**Note that dislocates can also traumatise the shoulder joint and it is
essential that the different ways of "dislocating" the shoulder are
understood. The word "dislocates" provides a clue as to the less desirable
way of executing this allegedly appropriate stretching manoeuvre for the
shoulder joints, because dislocation of the shoulder refers clinically to the
passive forcing of a joint beyond its normal range of active movement,
usually resulting in damage to the joint capsule and ligaments.

If you insist on using "dislocates" as a form of shoulder "stretching", then
it is vital to note that it is far better to develop flexibility-strength
throughout one's entire functional range rather than simply to enhance one's
flexibility or rage of movement. Thus, if you are using a broomstick, towel
or bungy cord, do not simply allow the arms to "flop" or jerk uncomfortably
passively backwards as is commonly the case, because you would then be
executing just the sort of passive external rotation of the rotator cuff
muscles which can lead to injury or damage to the capsule, ligaments and
muscles associated with the shoulder joint. The shoulders really don't
"like" that sort of movement unless you are very well conditioned or
genetically endowed to execute it in that manner. When you "dislocate", push
strongly against the broomstick and exert steady outward force to pull the
stick or bungy apart.

However, a far better way of enhancing 'functional' shoulder flexibility and
strength is to use a hi-low pulley machine to do standing cable crossovers
from a full crucifix position (back to the machine) with your body arched
backwards to a fully crunched over final position. Next you execute reverse
cable crossovers facing the machine - start from the lowest crunched position
and end with hands overhead in the crucifix position.

You can also do these movements with one arm at a time to execute the age-old
physio PNF 'chopping' and the 'sword-drawing' actions across the midline of
the body (now don't let any gurus out there create the impression that they
invented these exercises, because they have been in the PNF 'bible" for over
40 years!). Novices and older folk tend to prefer to start with these
variations before moving onto the more stressful bilateral patterns.
These patterns are fully illustrated in Ch 7 of "Supertraining" 2003.

Finally, overhead squats (elbows locked strongly!) with the bar and
progressively heavier weights can safely enhance shoulder strength and
flexibility (a few sets of no more than 3 reps per set is adequate). Begin
with hands very wide apart and very gradually bring your hands in if you
really want to increase shoulder flexibility-strength (yes, yes, you can do
some work on the gymnastic rings or parallel bars, but let's leave that issue
until later!)

Note that a broomstick doesn't offer enough loading to challenge the
shoulders in the overhead position, nor does it stimulate various protective
reflexes (which is a major reason why passive dislocates can be potentially
harmful to the shoulders). Thus, paradoxical as it may seem, it is generally
safer to do overhead squats (even over a limited range) with a load than it
is to do unloaded dislocates, unless you really know how to execute safe and
effective dislocates

Dr Mel C Siff
Denver, USA
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