SuperFlex Shoulder Health Matrix

The Versatile and Temperamental Shoulders

In the 3+ decades of my work with competitive athletes, the shoulders are the most commonly aggravated area of the human body. And, this is even more true for general population. In this blog we will share a video below including a shoulder exercise routine that features the SuperFlex Shoulder Health Matrix.

The glenohumeral joint (shoulder) is the most versatile of the human body. It requires a dynamic balance of mobility and stability in order to function at its optimal levels, and to remain healthy.

When your shoulders are irritated, it affects nearly every aspect of athletic performance, training, as well as even the simplest daily task. Fortunately the majority of these incidences are not due to an actual injury but originate from postural issues.

Daily activities, psychological stress, and sleeping habits are a few of the most common culprits. Matter of fact, just a night’s sleep you can have you waking up feeling like your shoulders have been pummeled and torqued into submission.

Solutions

The best path to take for shoulder health is one of pro-action rather than just waiting until you “can’t do” certain things and then reacting with attempts of damage control or “pain management”. Matter of fact, a primary component in every program I design is the shoulder/scapular prep sequence.

Obviously, learning to do basic strength training exercises with optimal mechanics and applying judicious loading is vitally important. You can’t torture your shoulders in the gym with foolish form or ill-advised loads and expect even the best soft-tissue therapy, foam rolling, or “mobility drills” to provide a solution. If in doubt about your mechanical integrity in basic movement patterns or your technical proficiency in the loaded exercises in your program, invest in a competent coach to assess and help clean those areas up.

Once you’ve eliminated the mechanical or technical issues, the next aspect of the “shoulder solution” is postural in general and muscular balance in the more specific perspective. I’ve found that a few daily drills done consistently is far superior than an extended “prehab” program done less frequently.

As with most key aspects of life, compliance with a simple and efficient program trumps inconsistency with a complex and expanded list of exercises every time. One of the key aspects of an effective training program that becomes more evident the longer my career goes is the principle of efficiency. And, this program is an excellent example of that.

SuperFlex Shoulder Health Matrix

The exercises in the SuperFlex Shoulder Health Matrix (SFSHM) involve drills that use a single 40” band that you can carry in a small bag, purse, briefcase, glove compartment, or your back pocket. This series of drills requires no external attachment point so can be performed in open space, indoors or outdoors; literally anywhere. This versatility makes the SFSHM ideal for frequent travelers, no matter in hotel room, the airport, or at an interstate Rest Area.

This series is a daily tonic for the shoulders rather than a full workout so your attire can range from underwear-only to a business suit (best to remove jacket). The objective is to activate and mobilize key muscles of the shoulder and scapular region rather than assault them.

This program addresses the often-neglected posterior muscles of the shoulder, including the supraspinatus and infraspinatus of the rotator cuff and the muscles of the scapular complex.

Regular application of this sequence of drills will help balance the entire upper body’s musculature by priming foundational postural muscles that are involved in most every strength training exercise–upper and lower body—as well as most every athletic movement, including speed and agility. And, even more importantly, this program helps counter the ill effects of daily activites (driving, computer, phone, etc), which all incite dysfunctional posture.

It is recommended to perform this complex at least once per day. You can implement as part of a warm-up on training days, during the day as an “active reset”, or simply execute the drills in the morning as a way to start your day. Truly, any time during the day is effective and beneficial.

Be attentive to the precise activation of each rep of each exercise. More is not better; better is better. Take brief pauses during any set when you detect your technique about to be compromised. Only count accurate reps.

 

Shoulder Exercise Routine featured in Video:

1) ½ Kneeling (right knee down)
a) Scapular Circles [10]
b) Behind-Neck Pull-Apart [10]
c) Pull-apart Isometric Hold [10 seconds]
d) Cross-Over Pull-Apart [10]
 (reach across to left)
e) Pull-Apart (Eccentric-Isometric) [10]

2) Tall Kneeling
f) Supinated (underhand) External Rotation [10]
g) Cuban Press [10]
 (Band secured under both knees)

3) ½ Kneeling (left knee down)
°Repeat 1, reaching across right side on (d)

4) Tall Kneeling
° Repeat 2

Unleash Your Potential,

Coach Vince McConnell

 

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