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Old 03-10-2011, 09:33 AM   #1
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Default A different look at shoulder prehab

In my log and in other threads there have been some discussions of shoulder care, rehab and prehab. Here is an interesting blog post from Garage Strength on this subject.

Shoulder Prehab Garage Strength

Shoulder Prehab

After reading Joe Defranco’s article on shoulder health and pressing movements, I decided that a bit of a rebuttal needed to be put together. Defranco recommends against any overhead pressing. He discusses how overhead pressing can cause damage to the shoulder girdle and continues to describe shoulder prehab exercises to utilize for the health of the shoulders. Defranco seems to prescribe the very similar prehab movements that Zach Even-Esh uses.

So where do I stand on the issue? Well, clearly I would disagree with Defranco that we need to scrap all overhead pressing movements. Do I believe that caution needs to be taken when dealing with overhead presses? Absolutely!
Where does Defranco go wrong with his analysis? I believe he goes wrong with his volume of prehab to the shoulder girdle. Defranco likes to do band pull aparts, different forms of external rotation and different forms of trap exercises BUT the problem is he trains the shoulder in a very high rep zone. Every prehab exercise I have seen Defranco or his athletes do has been with reps over 15-20. This is why his athletes fail to succeed with the overhead pressing. The shoulder muscles are HIGH THRESHOLD fibers. Meaning, they respond best to lower rep ranges. Defranco is training his athletes to have healthy shoulders for when they are benching in the very high rep ranges but when his athletes were pressing high threshold weights, their shoulder girdles were not prepared for the very intense weights they needed to press.

What is my prescription for healthy shoulders?

Introductory to Pressing and Shoulder Prehab Phase 1 (4 weeks)

1A) External Rotators 3 x 15

1B) Band Pull Aparts 3 x 20

2A) DB High Incline (60 degrees) 3x 12

2B) Ring Reclining Pull Ups 3 x 12

Phase 2 (4 weeks)

1A) Lying Side External Rotators 3 x10

1B) Trap 3 3 x 8

2A) DB Military Press 4 x 8-10

2B) NG Pull Ups 4 x 8

Phase 3 (4 weeks)

1A) Seated Barbell Overhead Press (on Scott Bench to allow more girdle movement) 4 x 6-8

1B) Curl Ups 4 x 6

2A) Seated Ext. Rotator 4 x 5-6

2B) Powells 4 x 6-8

This is a very basic program to introduce prehab exercises and then gradually build into a full fledged overhead pressing program. The goal should be to get your working weight on external rotators to about 15% of your working weight on the presses. For example, if you are overhead pressing 225 pounds you should be doing 30-35lbs on seated external rotators.

The shoulder girdle is a unit of high threshold fibers. These muscles respond best to greater levels of intensity in their training.
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Old 03-10-2011, 11:10 AM   #2
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Great post

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Old 03-10-2011, 11:19 AM   #3
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nice post Bamazav.

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Old 03-10-2011, 11:31 AM   #4
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I don't have any rings, but I think I can start a variation of the first cycle using a wider grip inverse row instead of the ring pullups. May also look into getting some rope to make something ring like to use. I like what I see in this article.
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"If there is nothing you can improve on, your standards are too low!" - BAMA Strength Coach Scott Cochran

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