Your Shoulder is a Digger| Ep. 27

Imagine an excavator working while anchored into a soft muddy surface. Now imagine that same excavator working with its tracks anchored into concrete. Which do you think would be more efficient? Which do you think would be able to apply more power into digging? Which do you think would break more often?

These answers should be unanimous. The excavator anchored into concrete is more sturdy therefore can apply more force with its bucket. Sturdiness provides stability and reduces torque on the excavator arm so its less likely to break. Obviously the previous two answers imply its more efficient.

Your shoulder blade (scapula) can be thought of as the cab (the big square part that people sit in!) of the excavator. When we leave our scapular stabilizers flaccid the shoulder blade is pushed around by the forces of the arm… we are working in the mud!  When the scapular stabilizers are contracted it is like anchoring the tracks in concrete. The cab (scapula) no longer gets pushed around. The results, your arm can apply more power, has reduced torque, is more efficient, and gets injured less. Mind Blown!!!

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Today’s Prescription:

1. Begin 30 day Pull-up Challenge. — This is a quest to add 10 pull ups to your max!!

**Focus on sequencing of pull-up movement as shown in video.

**Turn on scapular stabilizers by externally rotating shoulder to begin pull-up (as shown in video).

How To Begin The 30 Day Pull-up Challenge:

  • If you’re using a band: Use a band setting that allows your max effort to be 8-9 reps (you found this yesterday) and begin at week 1.
  • If your strict pull-up max is above 9 rep: Subtract 3 reps from your max effort and begin at the corresponding week (max effort 17 reps – 3 = 14; Begin at week 12: Rep scheme 14,9,8,8,7)
  • Perform 5 sets separated by a comfortable rest (1-3 minutes).
  • Perform each day, Everyday.  CONSISTENCY IS KEY!!!
  • If you are failing consistently (2+ days in a row): DROP BACK 2 WEEKS and continue.


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