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Couch Potato or Power Lifter This One’s For You

The shoulder is the most unique joint in the body. It almost entirely stabilized by muscle front, back, top, and bottom. Every other joint, has a greater functional aspect that muscle assists. This coverage in muscle could be a problem on either end of the spectrum; whether you are a big lifter or someone who never goes to the gym.

For the couch potato, desk jockey, or someone just doesn’t focus on physical fitness, there are some things to consider. You don’t need major muscle mass to be healthy. However, there are layers of issue with a lack of tissue (ha-ha see what I did there?) But really, if you are someone whose greatest muscle movement is washing your hair or picking up your kids, you could be in a position to have some major issues sneak up on you. A lack of muscle allows for more significant strain on the joints, tendons, and connective tissues than it would otherwise. Sleeping on your side for six to eight hours a night could cause tears or strains in the rotator cuff, because of that constant pressure. A sudden lift, throw, or pull could easily move the joints and other factors in a way that causes injury much more easily, than if the muscle had any level of build to help hold those areas and take impact better.

For the power lifter, gym rat, or fitness conscious individual, you have the potential for an opposite set of issues. Truthfully, the solution doesn’t lie on either extreme. With major lifts or significant muscle mass on the shoulder, the joint may not be symmetrically protected. Focus on a certain look versus the functional aspects of the shoulder could result in uneven muscle mass which causes uneven burden. Major muscle mass could reduce range of motion and overuse can create instability through strain, lifting too heavy or without proper form. Powerlifting puts a lot of strain on connective tissue as well, sometimes causing tears in ligaments or wearing down the lubricating factors.

If you are under conditioned and feel the first description applies to you, doing some small weights at increased repetition is the recommendation. Don’t train with any weight you couldn’t lift or pull 12-15 times but, do these exercises 15 minutes a day, and you will create a necessary level of conditioning.

The over conditioned or fitness conscious person needs to consider letting some of that muscle come down by doing less lifting to reduce the strain on the joint preventing greater injury.

For most people over or under conditioned, recognize, that we are in a forward-facing pushing world. Most natural muscle use is through push activation. Doing isometric pulls is recommended to increase muscle build that supports posture. Posture conditioning is going to prevent a multitude of issues in and out of the shoulder region.

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