YINZ AIN’T SEEN NOTHING YET!
I am very excited about this blog post as I have been battling with my own compensated injury in my right shoulder for a number of years now. Yep. Years! Over the weekend, I was curious about how the increase in my own shoulder mobility would increase my ability to accomplish a heavy-set goal of mine: the clean and press of the 24kg kettlebell. I hope you know where I am going with this post. GET EXCITED!
First off, lets talk about my shoulder issue. In 2007, I survived a nasty skateboarding accident. I was skateboarding down a hill pretty fast (I must have been going a good 20-25 mph on the board, which is fast for a skater) and hit a pocket of the road that was unpaved. It sent me wobbling all down the rest of the hill and I ended up bailing off my board. I had cracked my head on the pavement in two different spots as I tumbled down on road, trying as hard as I could to break my fall (and no, I was NOT wearing a helmet). When I woke up (yeah, I completely blacked out), I looked like a heaping pile of road kill. The friends I was with at the time rushed me to the ER where I found out I had a sizable concussion and two ribs in the right side of my body completely knocked out-of-place. It took 16 visits to a chiropractor to fix the problem in my back, and to this day, I still have visual damage in my right eye from the initial shock of the fall on my head (I’m lucky I made it through that accident without any broken bones or significant brain damage. Seriously, it was that bad!). In terms of the right-sided back injury, the two knocked out ribs caused a terrible compensation in my right shoulder over the years that would cause tension in my muscles, making it incredibly difficult to press a 12kg, let a lone a 24kg.
So…how does one correct a pretty painful compensation like this?
Enter ye the amazing work of Gray Cook and Brett Jones in the FMS Dvd “Secrets of the Shoulder.” After HKC Pittsburgh, Brett Jones personally told me that I had a lot of shoulder mobility issues to take care of if I were to pass the RKC. Since my heart is set on RKC Vienna, I took that advice seriously and did what I Thought would have helped the situation best. After a good few months of arm bars, my back opened up as did my shoulders, but I still was unable to comfortable press a 16kg on my right arm, the most damaged from my accident. In fact (I really don’t even want to admit this), doing my random RKC snatch test at a 12kg was causing me some pain, which had me quite concerned to say the least.
Now, I do go to an amazing Chiropractor here in the city and yunz better be sure I have been on top of getting my alignments in check after some heavy lifting. BUT, I am also one of those people that doesn’t like to constantly go to doctors all the time. We are responsible for our own bodies, and we should do what we can to maintain our own health. After discussing my issues with my right shoulder with my trainer Kerry, I was referred to “Secrets of the Shoulder” in order to drastically increase my shoulder mobility beyond what an arm bar could do for me. After a solid month of practicing the techniques in this DVD, I was able to not only unravel the annoying knots in my right shoulder, but I was actually able to increase the strength in my right shoulder to the point of 24kg press work.
Don’t believe me? HERE’S THE EVIDENCE!
By the way, in terms of the time I spent on my shoulder mobility, I probably only spent 5-10 minutes A DAY to get my body to open back up to sustain this load. So in 4 weeks, spending 5 to 10 minutes a day on my shoulders, I can no press a 24kg kettlebell. KILLER! I would like to admit that I still need to work on proper breathing with this press. Consistent breathing keeps your nervous system in a more relaxed state, so your muscles won’t lock up and tense during the lift, which actually can work against elevating the kettlebell. Also, my right shoulder is still slightly weaker than my left shoulder, so the actual press is still not as fluid as I would like it, but HEY! I got it up there at least right? This just goes to show you that no matter how long you have sustained an injury, proper FMS drills can correct the compensations to the point of being able to gain some serious strength!
That’s all I have for you guys today! As always, remember to eat smart, train hard, and enjoy your life!