Suspension Trainer for Shoulder Pain

I have a guest blog post for you today on suspension training and the shoulder.  It is from Zita Alves.

Enjoy the post and make sure to try out some of the exercises.

Take it away Zita…

I love to do bodyweight exercises but there comes a time when you know that something is missing – the pulls.

There are not many people, especially women, who can just hop up onto a bar and bang out a set of pull ups, particularly if they are overweight.

It can be really hard to achieve muscle balance without using any gym equipment/dumbells etc as pulling movements using the lats, rhomboids, trapezius and biceps cannot  always be overloaded enough by gravity alone – they need an external force.

How many people do you see who have internally rotated shoulders and an overdeveloped chest.

Not only from a postural point of view but also from a sports specific standpoint should we be looking at working the back musculature in equal measure. Given where the lats insert, isolated lat exercises or overtrained lat muscles can exacerbate this internal rotation which is why “rowing” movements are so beneficial in order to hit the rhomboids,mid/lower traps, serratus and posterior deltoids.

By using a suspension trainer you are able to do both horizontal and vertical pulling movements to target different muscles and the great thing is that by tiny adjustments in hand, elbow or body position you are able to hit the whole back from every angle.

Be sure to set the scapula, shoulders down away from ears, neck long for every movement.  Here are some great exercises to try include:

REVERSE FLYES

Start

  • Arms out in “T” Position in line with shoulders
  • Hands facing forward
  • Standing almost upright

Movement

  • Lean back as arms come forward in front of chest, hands facing each other
  • Lift arms back to start position keeping arms slightly bent, leading with top of hand
  • Wrists strong, core braced, keep chest up, squeeze shoulder blades down

HIGH/WIDE ROW

Start

  • Arms out in-line with shoulder
  • Bent elbows , hands face down in-line with elbows
  • Lean back slightly

Movement

Lean back more as arms straighten in-front of body, hands facing down chest up, core braced, back straight, wrists strong

LOW ROW

Start

  • Arms by side, elbows bent
  • Hands facing each other, inline with elbows
  • Lean back slightly

Movement

  • Lean back more as arms straighten in front of body, hands facing each other, chest up, core braced, back straight
  • Pull leading with elbows, keeping shoulder blades down to bring arms and body back to start position
  • Pull leading with elbows, keeping shoulder blades down to bring arms and body back to start position

ROTATIONAL SINGLE ARM ROW & SQUAT

Start

  • Hold 1 handle only
  • Feet hip width apart, slightly in-front of hands
  • Bend knees to sit back, bottom towards floor
  • Arm straight and rotate body to let other hand touch floor  Hands facing forward

Movement

  • Push into legs at same time as pulling handle to bend arm and row body up to standing position, other hand can cross over strap
  • Straighten the arm and bend the legs to return to start position

Y OVERHEAD RAISE

Start

  • Arms in “Y” position
  • Hands facing forward
  • Standing almost upright

Movement

  • Lean back as arms come forward in front of chest, hands facing each other
  • Lift arms back to start position keeping arms slightly bent, leading with top of hand
  • Wrists strong, core braced, keep chest up, squeeze shoulder blades down

Once the exerciser has mastered  the basic movements with good form they can work on some great combinations such as the following:

  • Low and high row combi
  • Low row, reverse flye combi
  • High row to Y raise combi

One of my favourite combinations is :-Y raise, high row, low row to bicep curl. Perform 1 rep of each after the other in a continuous movement aiming for approx 5 reps in total, or more reps depending on the foot positioning. The advantage of suspension training is that during a set if form deteriorates the feet can be very slightly moved to make the exercise easier and maintain the time under tension.

One of the coolest ways to use the Ztrainer is for MYOFASCIAL STRETCHES. The body has lines that run through the it and tightness in these lines is very common and can lead to dysfunction. For example one of the lines that I love to stretch for both myself and my clients is the anterior lines that runs from the head down the front of the body through the hips down the legs into the feet. A great way to prepare the body ready for activity is by incorporating the following movements.

Lunge and chest openings

Facing away from the anchor point, holding the handles lightly, arms straight and wide in T position step forward into lunge, tucking pelvis under. Make sure fingers pointing back to add a slight nerve stretch.

Alternate feet and repeat with arms in more of a Y position

Developing this further you can get an even deeper stretch. Step right foot forward into lunge position, tuck pelvis under and lift left arm. Keep right arm down by side and rotate upper body slightly to right to get a great stretch down the left side of the body. There are not many people who won’t feel this one!

Curtsey lunge and lat stretch

Facing the anchor point standing back with arms straight, take 1 leg behind into a curtsey lunge and drop chest to feel the lats stretch.

Side Stretch

Standing sideways to anchor point, grab both handles with arms straight, feet under handles and drop hip slightly to side, eg if anchor point is on left, drop left hip out to side to feel left side of body stretching

Do as many of the above as you feel your body needs.

Zita Alves has been a Personal Trainer for 13 years after a career change in 1998. As a non-exercising, overweight asthmatic she has found her true passion in helping others. In 2009 Zita set up Bath Bootcamp in Somerset, UK which currently runs 15 classes a week. In 2010 she launched the Ztrainer Suspension Fitness Training System which already has customers around the world and is being used by some of the UK’s leading Fitness Professionals.
For more information go to www.ztrainer.co.uk

 

 

 

Thank you so much Zita.

Thank you for reading, until next time.

Rick Kaselj, MS

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4 Comments

  1. You think the standing BB press is a good idea for somoene like me who played baseball for 20 years and is constantly working against a tendency toward acromion pressure? Lots of face pulls, rows and basic scapular retraction work seem to keep me doing okay.I have indeed incorporated more overhead pressing into my exercise over the past couple of years, but almost exclusively with DBs because I can keep my hands in a neutral position with palms facing each other. This is the most comfortable.Aw well, now that I’ve written it out, I realize that even if the BB press is a better exercise, I’m okay with where I am. To be able to press at all after two decades of baseball is good enough for me! p.s. your recent blogs are really rockin’. Thanks and keep it up.

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