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[Re]Thinking how you train the upper body


Tim Stevenson kinetic chain integration on gymnastic rings

At Dynamic Shoulders, we aim to bridge the gap between the principles and practices used by physiotherapy and strength and conditioning when it comes to creating truly high performing shoulders.


Physiotherapy is effective at treating injury and rehabilitation and a necessary part of the journey however, it generally does not extend far enough towards preparing you to return to the level of activity intensity you desire.

On the flip side, upper body strength training practices, strength and conditioning coaches and personal trainers generally lack the detailed understanding of what a high performing shoulder requires at a fundamental level. There is a lack of awareness of the training modalities that can be applied to scale shoulder stability in line with strength progression.

Drawing from our experience working in elite sport, we take an interdisciplinary team approach where we will work closely with specialist shoulder physiotherapists to smoothly transition from late-stage rehabilitation through to reaching your training and sporting goals.


OUR PHILOSOPHY - A TRULY HIGH PERFORMING SHOULDER SHOULD:


POINT ONE: Be free from pain, resilient to injury + be able to move biomechanically well with precision, control and confidence.

POINT TWO:

Be able to adapt to periodised progressive overload and deliver desired performance levels whilst continuing to fulfil point one.


Put simply, how can we better train the upper body to continually perform better and not break?


WHAT THE RESEARCH SAYS

52% - Players attending the NFL draft between 2009 and 2016 who had history of shoulder injury. Frangiamore SJ et al. Shoulder injuries in collegiate football athletes: Impact on draft status and professional performance. Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine. 2017


30% - Athletes competing in overhead sports whilst at university who have experienced a shoulder injury. Wright AA et al. Exercise prescription for overhead athletes with shoulder pathology: A systematic review with best evidence synthesis. British Journal of Sports Medicine 2016


33% - Percentage of shoulder dislocations in rugby that happen in the final third of a game.

C. Montgomery et al. A systematic video analysis of the mechanisms of shoulder dislocations in professional Rugby Union. Sports Surgery Clinic. 2018


67 - 80% - The percentage of people with shoulder injury that have scapula dyskinesis.

Kibler W, Sciascia A. The role of the scapula in preventing and treating shoulder instability. Knee Surgury, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy. 2016


Research and experience suggest that there is a need to [re]think the principles and methods that we use to train the upper body.

We need to stop applying lower body thinking to upper body training and better respect the design of the shoulder if we are to lower injury rates and support continued progression in endurance, strength, speed and power.


CURRENT RESEARCH IS BIASED TO BEING FED BY WHAT IS HAPPENING DOWNSTAIRS. THE UPPER BODY HAS NOT BEEN AS WELL THOUGHT OUT. - DAN PFAFF


THE DYNAMIC SHOULDERS FRAMEWORK

This is where our Dynamic Shoulders Frameworks comes in. The interlinked infinity symbols represent the essential integration between shoulder Dynamics on the left and shoulder Conditioning on the right. There should be no time where either being programmed for or trained without consideration of the other.


SHOULDER DYNAMICS

At the heart of how we [re]think about creating a truly high performing upper body must be an ability to optimise specific shoulder mechanics, movement and kinetic chain integration in preparation for a specific task or environment.


This includes:

· Alignment + positioning

· Arthrokinematics (joint motion)

· Applied Neurology

· Muscle action + force

· Awareness

· Chain integration


SHOULDER CONDITIONING

What capabilities and capacities do you want your upper body to have? How do you want it to behave under certain circumstances? This is often the focus of strength and conditioning coaches and personal trainers.

In this regard, conditioning refers to the progressive development of performance related motor skills involving the shoulder that prepare you for high level task execution and expression in a specific environment.


To prepare for this it is important to consider:

TASK // SKILL

· The activity or capability including the associated movement patterns and desired performance outcome.


ENVIRONMENT

· The arena in which the task/skill is performed - Predictable Vs Chaotic.


Dynamic Shoulders Framework

INTEGRATION - DYNAMIC SHOULDER CONDITIONING

The relationship and interaction between the shoulder dynamics and shoulder conditioning is the most important component in scaling performance by respecting design.

The performance level of shoulder Dynamics must be determined by the level of Conditioning we’re looking to achieve. As we progress the level of Conditioning we must continue to maintain and scale Dynamics accordingly.

It is by embracing the complexity of the shoulder and respecting this interactive, mutually beneficial, and interdependent relationship that we can build truly high performing shoulders.


Tim Stevenson Dynamic Shoulders Coach Education

COACH EDUCATION COURSE


We've created the ultimate shoulder course for ambitious strength and fitness professionals wanting to take their knowledge and understanding to the next level and help their clients build truly high performing shoulders.



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