Post by Matt Miller, Broga® founder
The shoulder joint is hands down the most complex of joints. It truly is a work of art akin to the insides of a mechanical timepiece.
But it is as delicate as it is artful. And if 90% of our physical injuries are caused not by trauma, but by over tension (that is repetitive or incorrect movement) then you can bet that the shoulder is a big easy target. With three main stabilising ligaments and over thirty muscle/tendon attachments that allow for an impressive range of motion (while keeping the joint stable at the same time) there are a lot of potential places to go wrong.
Common sporting injuries of the shoulder include dislocations, Acromioclavicular joint (ACJ) injuries, rotator cuff injuries, Labral tears, thrower’s shoulder, biceps injuries, bursitis and fractures.
Dislocations and ACJ injuries are more common in contact sports, such as rugby and wrestling, whilst rotator cuff tears and biceps lesions are common in sports involving explosive heavy weight-lifting. Fractures around the shoulder are seen with sports involving crashes and falls from heights, which I’m sure you have either had or know several people who have had such injuries.
So how can Broga® help ? Let’s break it down…
- While shoulder surgeries are now vastly improved in returning patients back to 100% function, the post operation pathway is not.
A few sessions of basic mobility rehabilitation is typical after recovery, followed by a drop kick into normal life and function. I believe this a massive flaw that only allows for great potential to not only not regain full joint mobility but worse yet an even greater threat of returning back to the operating theatre.
That’s where Broga® and yoga come in : as the needed step in between post-op rehab and the return to full functioning mobility and sport.
- The simple ability to elevate the shoulder overhead is step one post operation or injury. But the next step should be to gradually strengthen it. Unfortunately in our regular life there is not much occasion for this.
But in yoga, extension and elevation specifically targeting the Deltoid and Supraspinatus muscles, happens A LOT in many of the basic postures including the Downward Dog, which you will do again and again. The nice thing about positions such as these is they are scalable in the amount of body weight load you can place on them , meaning as you get stronger you also become more mobile .
External rotation of the shoulder is probably the second most difficult movement to regain post injury simply because we don’t have much occaision to do an outward arm and shoulder rotation unless involved in a sport – which is what probably caused the problem in the first instance. So we have to be really careful going back in the water rather than just jumping from rehab directly to sport and demanding a heavy workload from the
Infraspinatus and Teres Minor.
There are several Broga® postures, including Camel, Reverse Table, and Bow that actively encourage and strengthen an external shoulder rotation.
- Internal rotation of the shoulder joint using the Subscapularus is a bit more of a natural movement for us. That said, Broga® uniquely combines an internal rotation with extension at the same time to reduce the chance of incongruent movement. Postures employed in Broga® such as Warrior 1 and Lotus actively encourage this type of correct internal rotation.
And finally… Broga® significantly aids in shoulder recovery by teaching you how to achieve and what a stable capsular shoulder joint actually feels like. Creating this correct joint torsion, or rotational lock, allows for Broga® moves like side planks and inversions – all of which are scaled to allow for continued development as strength and mobility gradually improve.
So if you are having trouble with your shoulders post op or have a niggling injury why not give an 8 week course of Broga® a try? Check out broga.online for the downloadable DVD set and 8 week training guide!
About Matt “the Pillar” Miller
Yoga and fitness fanatic Matt is the founder of Broga. Living in London, Matt is a perennially sunny Californian spreading fitness inspiration and wellbeing to a wide audience.
He has been an American Football athlete, a UFBB super heavyweight Bodybuilder, a member of the US National Association of Sports Medicine, has Multiple yoga teaching certifications, was one of the first (and the youngest) to have a total titanium femur and pelvic joint, and is an internationally known Celebrity Personal trainer as seen on TV.
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