North Rocks

Centennial Qi Therapies

Fitness and health for better shoulders

When people think of perfect shoulders, they envision a well-defined anatomical structure with symmetry but in reality, this isn’t always the case. For those who work out, many of us believe we are training correctly but understanding the foundations of kinesiology is crucial to achieving this.
Have you ever looked in the mirror and wondered why your shoulders are more defined at the front compared to the back? This is because of most of our muscle bulk is formed in congruency with how we spend most of our day. Modern life does not place many tasks behind or far out towards the sides of us, resulting in weak external rotator cuffs and shoulder extension muscles. Some common conditions of the shoulder that can stem from or made worse by these weakness’ include:
  • Tendinopathy
  • Bursitis
  • Tendinitis
  • Instability
  • Early onset of arthritis
  • Impingement syndrome
  • Frozen Shoulder
  • Scapular Dyskinesia
It is not uncommon to have shoulder problems. In fact, 15.4% of men and 24.9% of women have shoulder pain with a prevalence of severity between the ages of 50-56 years old according to Mario Pribicevic’s study in 2012.
What is the solution?
Directing focus on developing your rear deltoid muscles and external rotator cuff muscles(Infraspinatus and teres minor) are an essential start. Introducing therabands, cables, isometric contractions and free weights are a great way to begin. You will notice this will not only manage/prevent your shoulder problem, but also naturally reposition your posture to be erect.
What if my range is limited and I can’t externally rotate my shoulders or pull them backwards?
The key to remedying this situation is frequently seen as overactive pectoralis, subscapularis and coracobrachialis muscles. A quick and easy way to release the general muscles are through stretching.
What about those stiff muscles on top of my shoulders?
The main culprits are levator scapulae, scalenes and upper trapezius muscles. Shrugging our shoulders will couple them into a forward roll and rolling the shoulders forward will automatically shrug the shoulders. It is a vicious cycle that cannot be broken without proper intervention. These muscles are stubborn and return to their resting tight state quite quickly after just about anything we try. The reason is because bad habits need to stop while you continue or seek physical therapy. What are these bad habits?
  • Poor posture
  • Long periods of inactivity
  • Bad work ergonomics [Link to “6 Coronavirus working from home ergonomic tips”]
  • Incorrect workout forms
  • Sleeping incorrectly
  • Lack of flexibility
  • Insufficient vitamins/minerals/fluids

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