Athletic Shoulder Preparation with SuperFlex Bands
One of the most vulnerable areas of the body for an athlete is the shoulder region. Training for athletic shoulder preparation with SuperFlex bands is critical to maintaining healthy shoulders. In sports like baseball, tennis, golf, lacrosse, and volleyball, the shoulder is regularly placed under extreme stress. Even sports that may not appear as “shoulder-dependent” like basketball and football put huge demands on the glenohumeral joint, rotator cuff, scapular muscles, and all surrounding tissues.
See Coach Vince’s 3 video’s below demonstrating each phase of training!
To better appreciate this versatile joint, understand that it’s the most mobile joint in the body but also requires definite times of pure stability. This is where the dilemma originates. The balance of shoulder mobility and stability is truly one of the most challenging realities in athletic preparation.
There are certain observant assessments any coach or athlete can use to best design a training program for the individual athlete. This topic is beyond the scope of this article but for now, understand that athletes will tend be more “forward dominant”, shoulders rounded, or in flexion, and others will be naturally more in extension where the liability is getting into chronic hyperextension of the spine.
The program included in this blog will emphasize helping to “correct” under worked posterior muscles while deemphasizing the typically overworked anterior muscles of the shoulder. It must be clearly stated that a complete whole-body training program is the best path to take in preparing the body for both athletic performance and daily postural integrity.
Though I’ve used this resistance band shoulder program as a stand-alone with numerous football players, and other athletes, over the years to both recover from shoulder injuries and prevent them, there are other drills to consider incorporating in your program including soft tissue work with foam rollers, a lacrosse ball, medicine ball, or other similar tool. All these tools along will help to enhance athletic shoulder preparation with SuperFlex bands.
At McConnell Athletics we have used a variety of resistance bands in our programs for well over two decades but without question the SuperFlex Functional Training Bands (FT Bands) are the best models I’ve found for dynamic warm-ups and corrective exercise. We use the FT Bands #2 and #3 with most of our athletes in this shoulder program but will also use the #1 on certain drills when called for. What makes the FT Bands so versatile is their longer 70″ almost double length to a traditional 40″ SuperFlex Resistance band. The longer length allows you to double band over or simply loop the band around any pole or door attachment while grabbing both ends of the band for multiple exercise options.
This 3-Phase program is designed for efficiency rather than workload. Each of the three phases are designed to complement each other into a total program. I believe in keeping the reps low to moderate in warm-up and activation phases to keep the mind-muscle coordination and quality at its highest while also regulating fatigue so not to interfere with the upcoming higher intensity work to be done. That known, there may be times when you want to increase the reps and even add more sets of certain drills when there’s specific dedication to this area for a more demanding training effect. Be judicious about adding reps and/or sets.
Athletic Shoulder Preparation for Healthy Shoulders – 3 Phases
Phase 1 (No Workout Handles)
- Bent-over Pull-Aparts (10 reps)
- Over & Back (5 reps)
- Scapulae Retraction (5 each hand on top)
- Face Pulls (10 reps)
- Modified PNF Patterns (5 each direction)
- Overhead Squat (5 reps)
- RDL with shoulder extension (10 reps)
- OH Alternate Reverse Lunge (5 each leg)
Phase 2 (With Workout Handles)
- Single-arm High-Low (10 reps each side)
- Single-arm T-Fly (10 each side)
- Single-arm Low-High (10 each side)
- Single-arm “Scap-initiate” Press (10 each side)
- Single-Arm “Scap-initiate” Row (10 each side)
Phase 3 (With Workout Handles)
- Alternate L-Raises (10 each side)
- L-Raise to Press (5 reps)
- Single-arm L-Fly (10 each side)
- Single-arm L-Fly to Press (5 each side)
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