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Newbie Question about shoulder strength

Darren Rea

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I just joined this week and had a question about strength in the shoulder... I have none. I have a reoccurring shoulder dislocation that I've been managing for 18 years, plus a desk job... So those 2 things combined I kind of become apathetic about my shoulders. Well enoughs enough... I'm here to reclaim my shoulder strength. So question:

Should I do some extracurricular prehad work on my shoulder girdle, or is the program setup to work all those small rotator muscles in the first months/years of the program?


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Jeffrey Bittner

Hi Darren,

It is always a good idea to get a medical opinion whenever a joint issue is involved. If your doctor clears you for physical activity, I would recommend starting with the Fundamentals course as it was created to help restore health, strength and mobility to damaged parts of the body. After completing the Fundamentals course, I suggest moving onto the Foundation One course. The upper body progressions, along with the mobility exercises in the course will help you to increase the muscle and connective tissue strength in your shoulder.

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Alessandro Mainente

Hi Darren the major problem is understanding WHY you have this shoulder problem. The instability must be fixed and it can be due to muscles imbalances or joint laxity. First case: balance in the muscles must be reached or the joint will always be unstable. The second case, nothing to do.

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Hi Alessandro,

Good question.

I tore the capsular in 2000. I had shoulder reconstruction in 2002 called a Bankart repair and Capsular Shift. See the video for a brief overview...

Then I tore it out again in 2004.

So that's the why...

As for the how to keep it from coming out again (which is does, averaging once a year).

I've had people suggest that strengthening the rotator cuff will keep it safe.

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Daniel Yarnes

I'm assuming you did not have it fixed again after the re-tear in 2004? I have worked with many capsular repair and shoulder instability patients in rehab. Rotator cuff and scapular strength will be key for you. I have not had a full dislocation or tear but have subluxed my right shoulder a few times, not for a few years though.

Fundamentals and Foundations will help you, I have also done a lot of kettlebell work to stabilize my shoulder initially and more at a maintenance dose now that I follow Foundations. What you will need to be careful with is the shoulder extension progressions and dips, build up very slowly. The rope climb progressions will be good for you with all the rowing and some extra rotator cuff work in addition to Foundations would definitely help.

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Hi Daniel,

Thanks for your reply. No I didn't get another after 2004. I got myself a reassessment in 2015 by 2 surgeons, but both said it wasn't worth the risk and trauma. I agreed.

Kettle bells feels a bit soon right now. But I would definitely consider it when I feel a bit more stronger. 

Yes, shoulder extensions and those shoulder dislocation moves scare me a bit, though I have seen a bit of improvement with mobility and strength with the dislocations using the stick overhead and backwards.

Thanks for the advise. I'm feeling hopeful.

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David Erwin

Definitely contact a Dr. and proceed with caution, but having said that... I've had 20 years of desk jobs and several significant sports injuries caused by me thinking I was 18. Two years ago I was in a situation where throwing a baseball would have caused days of pain in my shoulder. I eased into Fundamentals and played with the motions for the better part of a year and am now on my 5th week of the full suite of GB courses. I'm playing tennis and tossing kids now for hours without any pain. 

Again, I had tissue problems, not joint issues, but if your joints are up for it this program can really help you regain all sorts of motion. Feels really good to do it too!

Best of luck,

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  • 5 weeks later...
Nick Murray

@Darren Rea check out my previous posts on shoulder issues, particularly this one.

And this thread.

From shoulder reconstructions in 2012 and 2013, I can now do muscle ups and Russian dips - even L-dips - with no shoulder issues at all. Mobility due to the capsular shift HAS been an ongoing problem, but...it just takes time.

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  • 2 weeks later...

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