We’re more than halfway through the 2019 CrossFit Open season, having just completed 19.3 this past weekend. Maybe it was those overhead lunges where you felt wobbly, or your shoulders seem to just stop working on the handstand push ups. Let us help you unveil the mystery behind why the 19.3 WOD was such a challenge.
Overhead movements can be a challenge. It’s most likely not due to strength, but rather a lack of mobility. If you don’t have access to a full range of motion, then you won’t even come close to being able to access your strength potential. This means anyone with tight shoulders or a mid-back will have issues with overhead movements.
Let’s start with your lifestyle. Do you tend to sit a lot, or use your arms or hands a lot for work? Whether you’re a student, stay-at-home parent, work a desk job, or have a service job the answer is likely, “Yes!” The way you use your body on a daily basis will dictate how much range of motion your body thinks you need. It’s the “Use it or lose it” mentality.
If you’re able to stack the bones in your arm right over your shoulder joint, then it’s easy for the surrounding musculature to keep your arm overhead. It’s when your muscles have so much tension, restricting your range of motion, that they won’t allow the bones to be stacked. This forces your muscles to work hard just to keep your arm in the overhead position. Every rep costs you more energy when you don’t have full range of motion.
Keeping the muscles around your shoulders supple through daily mobility will combat the poor posture that afflicts us. Combine that with regular strengthening of your upper back muscles and you’ve just bulletproofed your body against upper back and shoulder pain and injury.
If you need help with how to mobilize, the book an appointment in our Sports Therapy Clinic. We’ve got your back!
*Photo courtesy of CrossFit.com