Fixing Your Weak Links (Part 4)
It was about a week before my SFG (Strong First Girya) kettlebell certification and something happened with my shoulder. I couldn’t do even a naked press with my left arm without intense pain in my shoulder.
I was extremely worried about this because I knew during the weekend we would do all three days of heavy pressing with kettlebells, I knew I had to fix this pronto.
I did a Functional Movement Screen a few months back before this incident occurred and I scored a yellow on my shoulder mobility screen- which means you have to do really low reps to focus on the movement when it comes to overhead pressing and lots of “pre-hab” (exercises you do to protect you from getting injured) and I wasn’t doing this.
To go back a bit, the Functional Movement Screen is a bunch of screens – seven to be exact and by performing these screens it gives the exercise professional or medical professional an idea what muscles are tight in a particular movement. From there you can do other assessments to pinpoint the exact cause.
This is an amazing tool to have for fitness professionals because if you score low in a movement (0- pain, 1- can’t do it, 2- can perform the movement but has some problems, 3- performs the movement exactly) research has shown and certainly in my case – if you don’t fix the problem you will get hurt.
I thought doing the Turkish Get Up is all I needed because after all you can’t get a better exercise for dynamic movement under load to stabilize the shoulder. In the TGU you start out in shoulder flexion, then move into an abducted position then finish in full shoulder elevation in the standing position. But if you don’t have the proper mobility in your shoulder then the Turkish Get Up will not really do anything to fix this.
Gray Cook always says “Mobility, before Stability” I learned this in my Functional Movement Screening Course and I guess I needed it to happen to me for it to really sink in.
That week before the SFG when everything happened I ended up doing a lot of firsts- I had my first massage, that was my most painful massage I had ever had in my life.
Then I also found a doctor who has their SFMA, which is what I have but one step higher for doctors. (Instead of fitness pros trying to prevent an injury from happening if doing the FMS screen correctly. Doctors who have this designation can try to fix your muscles in a screen that you performed a 0 or 1 on)
The doctor was giving me the screen again and found the culprit of my shoulder injury. It wasn’t the shoulder, it was actually my left trapezius muscle. He started to do the graston technique on me. The graston is basically a very dull knife and they go over the knots in your muscle and the muscle basically releases after a while. Think of what foam rolling does but the graston is one step above foam rolling. My skin started peeling which is a good sign it tells you are in the right spot and the next day you have a bruise in that particular spot.
My shoulder was way better after this was done on me and since then I have been including these three prehab exercises for my shoulder and thoracic mobility so this doesn’t happen again. If you have bad shoulders give these three exercises a shot in your next warm up!
*Do 2 sets of all three exercises 12-15 reps*