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Stef Duncan

Overactive bicep, specific exercises to correct or activate shoulder, lat, serratus anterior etc (previous RC rupture)

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Stef Duncan

Hi guys,

              Many moons ago I ruptured my supraspinatus, it wasn't a full tear but really it should have been repaired. For reasons beyond my control it wasn't.

My bicep on that side is considerably larger than my left and my front deltoid is smaller. I do not believe it is because of the tear but more so from avoiding using the muscle and becoming dominant in the bicep.

If I do a front raise (dumbell) I notice my shoulder on my good side does no elevate and I feel a nice pump in that shoulder.

On my bad shoulder, the should noticeably elevates and I quickly suffer inpingement.

 

So I started tried to do spcific band pull downs with a straight arm, trying to activate my right lat and noticed after doing this, I can front raise without pain and my shoulder doesnt elevate as much. Although it takes major concentration to activate my lat and when I try to stretch it it is difficult to

 

So from my observations.

My bicep is certainly overactivated on my bad side and is clearly compensating for most movement where I raise my arms.

My lat itself on that side is underactivated and even with slight activation work, raising my arm feels normal again.

 

I would very much appreciate it if someone could give me some exercises, holds, which specifically activate the lats, reduce bicep involvement and specific scapular actiation exercises.

 

At the moment I am simply doing a straight arm pull down with a band.

 

 

 

 

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Everett Carroll

Hi Stef,

Sorry to hear about the injury and impingement. These sorts of issues/injuries are never fun. Because of the complexity and the fact you suspect this is related to the old injury, I suggest consulting with a sports physio. They will be able to accurately assess the occurring compensation and provide safe exercises to help you overcome the issue. 

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Stef Duncan

I've seen a few physio over the years and all imo didn't know what they really should do. Everyone gave the typical band exercise which is given to those with rotator cuff tears - external rotations. If anything I feel I am too externally rotated in the humorous.

Currently I know I have to work on activating my lat, scapula and reducing the use of my bicep.

if members could post such activating exercises I would be forever grateful. I will also start a progress journal.

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Stef Duncan

Nobody?

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Alessandro Mainente

Hey Stef it is pretty hard to give suggestion in your case because at this level of tear the shoulder tends to compensate and as a consequence the entire complex of the upper arm, scapulae etc does not work properly. I'm not in the position of give more suggestion because it is responsibility bigger than me.

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Stef Duncan

I understand that alessandro, however I am not asking for someone to give me a corrective exercise.

 

i am simply asking for lat activation exercises, holds etc that gymnasts use, nothing more.

 

 

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Everett Carroll

Hi Stef,

Sorry again for the delay. I hope you can understand that when we receive questions about injuries we are a bit reserved, because, as Alex mentioned earlier, these are complex situations. Beginning the Foundation One Course is my best general recommendation for basic lat activation exercises. Due to the progressive nature of the course, you will start with the most basic movements and gradually advance. Just be sure you are sensitive to your old injury and that you work towards symmetry as you advance through them.

I hope you are able to find a solution to the issue as well. It's too bad that the physios you have seen weren't able to help but it is still definitely worth trying others.

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Alessandro Mainente

Well, Stefm i'll try to explain the general tendency fo the body to compensate.

the supraspinatus it is arm elevator (especially to the side, at it works paired with lateral delt) BUT if you get a tear into this muscle the general tendency it is that subscapularis and upper trap tends to compensate. in fact usually when the subscapularis works a lot you can see the shoulder which elevates when the arm it is moved into flexion.

IN order to avoid that there is a solution. if the lateral delt can compensate the tear of the supraspinatus you should be able to raise the arm without activating the trap and the subscapularis.

So my primary suggestion it is to work with a shoulder press (with moderate load) and double shoulder grip in order to strengthen the lateral delt. reaching the 50-60% of the bodyweight usually leads to a stronger delt rather than stronger trap and you should be able to control more the shoulder elevation.

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Stef Duncan
On 06/05/2017 at 7:24 PM, Alessandro Mainente said:

Well, Stefm i'll try to explain the general tendency fo the body to compensate.

the supraspinatus it is arm elevator (especially to the side, at it works paired with lateral delt) BUT if you get a tear into this muscle the general tendency it is that subscapularis and upper trap tends to compensate. in fact usually when the subscapularis works a lot you can see the shoulder which elevates when the arm it is moved into flexion.

IN order to avoid that there is a solution. if the lateral delt can compensate the tear of the supraspinatus you should be able to raise the arm without activating the trap and the subscapularis.

So my primary suggestion it is to work with a shoulder press (with moderate load) and double shoulder grip in order to strengthen the lateral delt. reaching the 50-60% of the bodyweight usually leads to a stronger delt rather than stronger trap and you should be able to control more the shoulder elevation.

thankyou I will give it a go

I have also been doing scapular shrugs and must say I'm finding it difficult to find a sweet spot.

Its easy when I am in the plank position and my forearms are horizontal and on the ground, but when I am in the press up position it doesnt happen.

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Tanya Hill

Send us over a video of your scap shrugs. ;)

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Stef Duncan

ok will do

 

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Petra Dvorak

hi Stef

I'm very sorry to hear about your shoulder.

If i may suggest, go find a good surgeon and get it fixed, if it is not too late yet. Because these partial ruptures tend to become bigger and affect also the other muscles of the rotator cuff which will try to compensate the cranial movement of the humeral head. btw could you insert a pic of your two bicepses under tension?

In fact, the rotator cuff's lesser known function is not only rotating or elevating the arm, but most important is pulling the head of the humerus back into the fossa glenoidea (the socket) against the force of the Deltoideus when elevating the arm, so one does not impinge the tendons and bursa under the acromion.

Exercises: learn to get your scapula into the right position whith a competent coach or physio (and then strenghthen the corresponding muscles), this was what helped me at least for a while... imo this is much more effective than any outwards rotating exercises which can even worsen your shoulder if done incorrectly.

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Stef Duncan
On 07/06/2017 at 6:25 PM, Tanya Hill said:

Send us over a video of your scap shrugs. ;)

 

On 07/06/2017 at 6:25 PM, Tanya Hill said:

Send us over a video of your scap shrugs. ;)

Sorry better late than never

 

http://sendvid.com/ptizltsm

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Alessandro Mainente

Hey Stef, the shrugs should be done with straight arms.

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Stef Duncan
21 hours ago, Alessandro Mainente said:

Hey Stef, the shrugs should be done with straight arms.

I'm working on it, how does the scapula retraction look as of now?

ive noticed if I posteriorly tilt my pelvis I have greater control of my scapula. Without this I have no control at all

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Everett Carroll

Retraction is looking good there. Aim to achieve that amount with straight arms, as Alex suggested. 

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Stef Duncan

Could these be performed everyday?

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Petra Dvorak

I think just as any exercise that is on your physical limit, you also need to give your muscles a recovery time.

But for motor control and learning the movement, you sure could perform shrugs in a easier position, for example the quadruped.

5982310d8143e_4-Fusslertransvkorr_abd.JPG.919c2318dfe1fae1069c7f638dc1fbb1.JPG 

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Everett Carroll

Excellent advice, Petra. I second that. 

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Stef Duncan

Ok thanks guys.

 

 

what are the proper cues for the scapula shrug? 

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Alessandro Mainente

Keep the wrists under the shoulders, keep the elbows locked, keep the scapulae depressed.

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Stef Duncan

Should I be aiming to lower my chest to retract the scapula or retract solely with the scap.

 

 

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Everett Carroll

Hey Stef,

Your chest will drop as you bring your shoulder blades together.

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Stef Duncan

Ok guys bit of an update! I'm beginning to understand my cause of dysfunction on my right side....

Ive suffered with anterior pelvic tilt which was caused from years of heavy deadlifting.

if I really focus on posteriorly  tilting my pelvis I can activate my scapula with ease.

the issue is, posteriorly tilting my pelvis and activating my core in the hollow body position isn't bilateral. It's much harder to get that activation on my right side.

may someone reccomend an alignment exercise which my help?

i am now getting good scapula activation when doing the scap shrugs in the quadruped position but only when I focus hard on posteriorly tilting my pelvis and ensuring my core is activated on my right side and wala I am able to activate my right scap.

 

thanks in advance

 

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