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REAL Solutions For Shoulder Exercises & Pain

Jessica Bento, Physical Therapist (Creator DVRT Restoration Certification, Knees Over Toes Course, DVRT Rx Shoulder, Knees, Pelvic Control, & Gait Courses)

sandbag workouts

I would like to think that people understand that social media platforms are really just sound bites, but from some of the comments I get maybe, not. I am beginning to think people just “learn” from posts and what they see on the internet instead of really learning, applying, and understand concepts and principles of a “sound bite” they might see. 

If you haven’t seen my instagram page, it’s all  about education (of course, there are some pups here an there) but primarily its a platform that I use to get people interested in topics, interested in learning and to “think different when looking at rehab and fitness. It is though, only a snapshot…a sound bite of larger topics and more in-depth thinking. Its meant to get you exceeded to dive deeper and learn more. It is NEVER the complete story. 

ultimate sandbag training

The other day I posted a traditional shoulder exercise and gave some examples of how to better integrate the entire body in order to address shoulder issues rather than the “old school” way of trying to isolate muscles. 

Well, inevitably someone has to make a comment wondering why change? A coach had to comment that since they do the “old school” way and feels it works just fine. They have had secure using it, so why change what they are doing? 

shoulder exercises

Well, I used to do such isolated exercises when I first begin in therapy. Did my patients get better? Yes. Yes they did. But when I started looking at the whole body and changing my approach to a more integrated one…my patients got better FASTER and actually had even BETTER outcomes when it came to overall function. What I was doing wasn’t broke, but it also wasn’t the most efficient and best way to address injury and issues. So I changed my approach. Why would I want my patients therapy to be extended or have lesser outcomes? 

My husband would be proud with what I am about to say…the other night while watching Andor ( a new Star Wars show for those that aren’t familiar) on of the characters said,” systems either change or die.” When we heard that, we were both like,” oh my gosh that is so true”! 

Putting a Star Wars and Marvel quote in a blog post HAS to be a record. 

If you are not willing to re evaluate what you are doing, trial new techniques, learn more, and do more….you are not bettering your self or evolving within your field. That is what will separate good from great most of times. 

Now, back the whole shoulder thing….what do I mean isolated vs integrated? Well, back in the day my patients with any shoulder issues would have a rather focus treatment plan just on their shoulder. Now I know a shoulder issues is rarely a shoulder issue and a symptom of a rather issue. Instead of all at the traditional rotary cuff exercises in side lying or lying on your back or stomach like shoulder external rotation, empty cans, internal rotation, “I,” “T”, “Y’s….the “Y” exercise is what sparked that comment other the day  FYI. You can see below. 

Typically, there is this belief is that if the posterior shoulder muscles like the rotator cuff are strong then are shoulders will stabilize better and be healthier. This is true, only to a degree though. 

The more we understand about human movement, the more we realize the body never works in isolation. Thanks to more current ideas about the chains of our body, like the Spiral Line, we can see that there are a series of muscles that actually connect the foot all the way up to the opposing shoulder. 

shoulder workoutlifts/chops

This means that if we want to help the shoulder, we need to integrate the rest of the body in a meaningful way. We should understand trying to isolate the shoulder by actually laying on a bench or ball actually lowers the effectiveness of such drills because a shoulder issue could be a core stability problem, a hip issue, even a lower leg and foot dysfunction. 

Like I had said, I did all the tubing shoulder external rotation exercises all the time, but so often I neglected some key aspects of the shoulder. As renown physical therapist, Gary Gray has explained…

“The pelvis, trunk, and scapula all tie together for an understanding of function in the shoulder”

“The shoulder has the capacity to go through tri-plane loading as well as tri-plane unloading.”

“Functional rehabilitation of the shoulder requires that we allow every part of our patient’s body to become successful to contribute to the success of the shoulder.”

There is A LOT of research pointing to how shoulder pain and dysfunction is a often a byproduct of core and lower body integration issues. That is why when we then address the shoulder that we want to integrate the body as much as possible. How? Well, I show a few ideas from our DVRT (Dynamic Variable Resistance Training) system in this series below…

Don’t miss saving 25% all throughout DVRT and when you invest in any of our Ultimate Sandbags or Water Bags you will ALSO get 2 of our follow along workouts for FREE! Just use code “sale25” HERE and that also means you can save big on our mobility programs you can find HERE