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Old 09-19-2013, 08:44 AM   #1
Matt Reiland
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Default Preventing shoulder injury

Background: I'm a former baseball player and am concerned about my shoulders when doing O-lifts and technique/strength work associated with the lifts. I don't have very good overhead strength which limits my jerk and snatch. I've been doing Greg's Intermediate Program 1 from his book; I selected it because the volume seems right for me and it includes some clean/snatch push press, power jerk + jerk complexes, OHS, and snatch balances to help me build some overhead strength and stability.

I have two questions:

1) On days that include snatch push press or moderate volume of jerks, my shoulders really hurt by the end of the sets. It goes beyond a muscular hurt and feels like it is more in the connective tissue. There is no grinding, snapping, or popping. It is most definitely NOT a pain, more of a dull ache in the ligaments/tendons. I used to have some elbow tendonitis when playing baseball (10+ years ago), and that was a more severe ache than lingered for hours after throwing. I can say with confidence that this feeling in my shoulder is not the same. In addition to the ache being of significantly lower intensity, this ache is generally completely gone minutes after the last set, especially if I do some arm circles. Is this just my connective tissue adapting to the stimulus and getting stronger? For what its worth, I'm feeling fully recovered, including my shoulders, and haven't had to take any additional rest days beyond what is prescribed in the program template.

2) Are there any recommended "pre-hab" shoulder exercises to help strengthen the stabilizing muscles and connective tissue of the shoulder? To prevent shoulder injury, I currently perform the dynamic range-of-motion warm-up on the CA site and in Greg's book, follow that with some shoulder dislocates with a dowel, and warm-up with presses, jerks, OHS, or snatches with just the bar. As I'm performing the push press or jerk complexes that cause the aching in my shoulder, I do some rotator cuff exercises with a theraband that I remember from my baseball playing days (external and internal rotations mainly). Does anyone have any recommendations to my routine that will help prevent shoulder injuries or damage?

I'm perusing the pre-hab, rehab and warmup sticky at the top of this forum for some suggestions, but also wanted to ask my specific questions. I appreciate the input.
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Old 09-19-2013, 11:16 AM   #2
Blake Barnes
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1) Your shoulders may just be tight and the overhead position may just irritate the shoulder girdle a little bit. If the pain goes away within minutes after doing overhead presses and jerks then I wouldn't think there's anything to worry about. This sport is tough on the shoulders.

2) I would definitely continue to do your dynamic shoulder warm-up. Also try to work in some stability exercises. KB Arm Bar, KB Bent Press, whatever else you can find (I'm sure there's a million of them).

If that doesn't help and this continues to get worse, then I recommend going to a PT to get it professionally evaluated.
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Old 09-19-2013, 08:09 PM   #3
Matt Reiland
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Thanks for your input Blake. I didn't think it was anything serious, so I'll keep monitoring it. I'm inclined to think it will go away as I getting stronger. I'll also add some KB stability exercises to my pre-hab routine.

Thanks again.
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Old 09-25-2013, 10:09 AM   #4
Patrick Haskell
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I continually find overhead strength, mobility, and stability to be a challenge following my failed shoulder surgery, so take my advice with a grain of salt, as my problems are my own. Still, for all the fancy rehab/prehab stuff that I've done over the years and some of it to good effect, the thing that helped most with weathering the abuse of overhead work is simply doing handstands and hand walking a couple-few times a week. It's an easy thing to fit in outside the context of the gym, so it's convenient, but mostly, I think the practice of frequently managing perturbations in the overhead position with a natural way to bail is the biggest reason it is so helpful.
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