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All coming out in the wash

I’ve been thinking about shoulders ¬†and upper body in general this week but a lot of what I have been dwelling on crosses over to all exercise. I spent some time with some of the physios here at SSC talking about shoulder and thoracic mobility, scapular patterning and their importance. Having seen a number of people too where I’ve been working on addressing postural imbalances I’ve been getting my head around where this type of training fits into the training plan.

In the past, I’ve been guilty of letting some of this stuff ¬†slide as long as the numbers a going up hoping that just by getting stronger it would sort itself out and would all come out in the wash. Some trap dominance during cable rows, maybe some scapular winging during a bent over row but my thoughts are shifting. Firstly, it’s reinforcing poor movements and engraining those patterns. Secondly, if it’s increasing their ability to produce force, if that force occurs through a poor pattern, their training could actually enhance the possibility of injury. I’m seeing that on a daily basis, and not just in the upper body (the large amount of groin rehabs that come through are testament to that).

It’s making me think carefully about my progressions. It’s making me think carefully about when those progressions occur. Education and feedback to the athlete is vital to create change though, otherwise they won’t buy into the exercises. Once they can see the mechanism responsible for the issue, they have a target. We use ipads and dartfish with everyone that comes in. I upload videos of their movements and what they’re looking to alter so they can look back at it and they get a reminder of what they’re working towards. It’s not just about pain/injury prevention though. I remind everyone what impact these alterations will have on their game. Ultimately they’ll turn sharper, run faster and jump and reach higher. That sinks in.

Neil Welch

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