Friday, October 22, 2010

Reach for the sky

     Good morning everybody... and good morning to my followers (I can finally use the plural now!). It's time, once again, to transform into the WOD destructicons that we truly should be. So lets raise our hands high, really high, and bring the active shoulder to it's full potential!

Who wants you to have a nice active shoulder?... We do!!!
     So what is the active shoulder? Is it the opposite of the "lazy shoulder"? Well actually... kinda. Think back when you were in grade school and you were really excited and had the answer to the teacher's question. Did you ever raise you hand so high you felt like your arm was going to come out of its socket? BAM! Active shoulder right there, before you ever knew of it.

     Basically, an active shoulder requires a shrug. When we refer to an overhead position the arms are already above us, but it is the shrug of our shoulders that makes it active. But why do I even need my shoulders active? Well when we have nice locked arms, and deliciously shrugged shoulders, we are contracting our trapezius (traps) which will then support the load that is overhead (see below). To achieve this wonderful position, try to think of this simple cue: "turn your shoulders into earmuffs" (you will hear me say this). What that means is we want you to shrug your shoulders up and center (as opposed to far forward or behind) and squeeze your traps.

Ta-da! Active Shoulder

Front/side view
       Now, the active should is not just limited to the overhead position. We can use this anytime the load must be shared. How about... a handstand hold? Don't you think it would be nice if the load could be shared. Active shoulders to the rescue! Heck the ultimate test of active shoulders is, none other than, the overhead squat. Without a good active shoulder position and a nice tight midline... it's just not going to happen.

Can someone say "Activate"?

     So, remember everyone, keep your head high... and those arms even higher.

3,2,1 GO!

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