Unveiling the Secrets of Shoulder Injury Prevention
Maria Sollon, MS, CSCS, PES
🎃🕷️👻 💀🧟‍♂️ 🦴

Don't freak out! Injuries can be sneaky, but they can be prevented!

Overcome the fear of scary injuries that creep up on you like a ghost in the night. Since it’s spooky season, it seems just right to unravel the mysteries of how injuries can sneak up when you least expect them.

This three-part series is about to unveil the secrets of keeping your body strong and injury-free by warding off the haunting horrors of injuries! The series is divided into three parts to discuss different areas of the body that are most susceptible to certain injures. It’s important to know what these common injuries are, how they could sneak up on your muscles, and how to prevent them (and others) from occurring. We will also cover the importance of injury prevention by strengthening the smaller, intricate muscles of the joints that are most sucbseptble to injury.

Here’s the Freaky Sneaky Series line up:

Part 1: Shoulders (Unveiling the Secrets of Shoulder Injury Prevention)
Part 2: Back (Confronting the Terrors of Back Injuries)
Part 3: Hips (Haunting Hip Injuries)

When it comes to protecting your shoulders from the sneaky horrors of injuries, it's crucial to understand the intricate balance between the larger and smaller muscles surrounding the shoulder joints. The larger muscles, often referred to as the deltoids and pectorals, are responsible for the primary movements of your shoulder. These muscles provide the primary force behind actions like lifting, pushing, and reaching. Now, let's peer into the shadowy world of the smaller, more delicate muscles. These muscles, known as the rotator cuff muscles, are like the guardians of your shoulder's stability. They include the:

• Supraspinatus
• Infraspinatus
• Teres minor
• Subscapularis

Their primary job is to stabilize the shoulder joint during complex movements, preventing it from wobbling or dislocating. Think of them as the silent protectors, crucial for maintaining the health of your shoulder.
All of these large and small muscles interlaced around our shoulders must work together in harmony as we move. Since the shoulder bones move as a ball-in-socket, which gives us functional range of motion, the bones are very vulnerable to becoming injured when there is a muscular imbalance, or a movement is made that overwhelms what our shoulder muscles can handle. Sounds pretty freaky, I know!

Listed below are some of the most common shoulder injuries that could sneak up when the strength, mobility, and flexibility balance is not maintained:

1. Rotator Cuff Tear: This sinister injury occurs when the tendons of the rotator cuff muscles become damaged or torn. It can result from overuse, trauma, or wear and tear over time. A rotator cuff tear can lead to weakness, pain, and limited shoulder mobility.

2. Frozen Shoulder (Adhesive Capsulitis): This chilling condition involves the thickening and tightening of the shoulder joint capsule. It restricts shoulder movement, causing stiffness, pain, and a loss of range of motion.

3. Impingement Syndrome: Impingement occurs when the rotator cuff tendons get pinched or impinged between the humerus and the acromion during arm movements. This can lead to inflammation, pain, and even damage to the tendons.

The key to avoiding these shoulder horrors lies in strengthening along with maintaining mobility and flexibility in both the larger and smaller shoulder muscles. To simplify this, movements have been grouped into categories for Strength, Mobility, Flexibility.

By engaging in specific movements, your shoulders are able to work in different angles and ranges of motion. Strengthening the deltoids and pectorals will help bolster your ability to handle everyday tasks with ease. Simultaneously, mobility and flexibility exercises will ensure that the rotator cuff muscles maintain their protective role, preventing injury.

The Total Gym is your secret weapon to building strong, stable, and mobile shoulders. These shrilling shoulder exercises are the antidote to keeping your shoulders safe and strong.

Directions: Learn and practice the following exercises slowly with control and proper form. The focus should be emphasized on developing the smaller muscles around the joints. Take your time and utilize your inner strength.

Reps + Sets: aim for 10 reps, sets depends on workout timing Frequency: 3-4 days / week along with your other routines Tempo: slow and controlled speed

1. Strength: A, T, Y, W
• Sit or kneel on the glide board holding the cables in each hand. With the palms facing the vertical column, pull the cables towards hips to form an “A” shape, then slowly return. Continue to pull and release the cables to form the following letter shapes; “T”, “Y”, and “W”.
• Keep the spine elongated and move slowly through the movements

2. Mobility: Scapula Protraction/ Retraction
• Remain in the same starting position as above. Gently pull the cables to retract the scapula, then release into protraction.
• Keep the range of motion small and be sure to fully activate the scapula muscles.

3. Flexibility: Shoulder Rolls
• Kneel on the floor to one side of the glide board. Place one arm on the glide board aiming towards the vertical column and the other on the floor to stabilize. Use the glide board and incline to move the shoulder girdle through different ranges of motion.

Check out the video demonstration to see how these Freaky Sneaky exercises are performed on your Total Gym.

Stay tuned for the next installment of our Freaky Sneaky Series, where we'll tackle the spine-tingling mysteries of back injuries. So stay tuned for Part-2… if you dare!

Stay Spooky Strong! 🎃


Maria Sollon

Maria Sollon Scally MS, CSCS holds a Master’s Degree in Performance Enhancement/Injury Prevention and Kinesiology. She has obtained numerous certifications in various areas of fitness and is a national conference presenter. Maria specializes in Pilates, Performance Coaching, and Corrective Exercise Techniques and Kettlebells. She is the creator of the Plyo Pilates Method and has developed a series of amazing workout DVDs. She is a Master Trainer for Total Gym, Resist-a-Ball, Body Blade, Peak Pilates, Kettle Bell Concepts and is a freelance writer for Fitness accredited magazines, newsletters, and fitness blog sites. Maria demonstrates her knowledge each day and uses her dynamic creativity throughout her specialized line of work. (purchasable workout videos) (workout clips)

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