Mobility Thursday, Neck and Shoulders

Mobility Thursday, Neck and Shoulders

Mobility Thursday!


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I know you’re ready for it.  This week has been very tough on the shoulders so we’re going to focus on neck and shoulders tonight in mobility.

I often hear athletes complaining about shoulder pain when pressing, doing pull ups or toes to bar.  I also experience this issue and it’s been a constant reminder of how training  needs to be varied, but balanced and it should help enhance the daily requirements of the individual, not hamper them.  So in my quest to find relief, I often dive into research on the web to self diagnose and find ways to correct my positioning and bring relief to my shoulders.

Today, I found an amazing article in the CrossFit Journal (why am I not surprised) by a cast of some of the best in the industry: Mark Rippetoe, Lon Kilgore, and Kelly Starrett, Daniel Crumback,Paul Benfanti. With an Introduction by Greg Glassman


Click the image to download: On the Safety and Efficacy of Overhead Lifting

This article is the most comprehensive and most relevant article I have read, ever, on the safety and efficacy of overhead pressing.  If you’re into CrossFit, press overhead often and you have pain when pressing, you need to take the time to read this article. It’s fantastic and fascinating.  It may take a little while to really absorb it all and how the components work together, but it’s well worth the time investment.

Through my own research and this article, the shoulder impingement or pain from biceps tendinitis is caused by three things:

  1. An anatomical issue.  Example, a bone that is in the way.
  2. A form issue. Example, not performing the lift correctly.
  3. A muscular imbalance.  Example, not enough pulling or posterior emphasis, while too much anterior emphasis.

Point 1 is an issue I want to avoid, as it would require surgery, however, points 2 and 3 can be addressed relatively easy with proper form and exercises.

Therefore tonight, we’re going to focus on mobilizing the area in class.  Through mobilization of the neck and shoulders, we hope facilitate better positioning for overhead movements like we’ve been doing all week (pressing, snatching, jerking, etc..), which should reduce pain experienced and allow us to be more productive when going overhead.

Mobility WOD:

  • Roll the spine
  • Neck relief
  • First rib mobilization
  • Internal/External rotation
  • Scapula mobilization
  • Rhomboid massage


Strongman Thursday this week.

I wanted to do this strongman wod this week, but didn’t have the time early in the week to do so.  The workout is:

400m yoke walk, zercher style.  Every time you drop the yoke, perform 10 push ups.

My fellow coach, Cody, did it yesterday and posted this result: 21:38, with 7 drops. His body weight is ~220# and his yoke was 335#.

I did this today using his result as motivation.  Here is my result:

Body weight 173#, yoke 250#. Time 19:36, 15 drops. (yes, that’s 150 push ups).

Great workout.  Both physically and mentally challenging. Can’t wait for the next one!


Food for your brain:

The early articles in the Journal are so good!  Please read the ones below and post your comments.

Dissecting the Fish, Plotting Progress in Multi-Mode Training – CrossFit Journal

Low bar vs High bar back squats – CrossFit Journal