Daily Mobility Exercises by Dr. Kelly Starrett Forums Shoulder Inability to gain strength

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    • #70242

      Has anyone had a problem with not being able to gain strength in one arm? I’ve been working with a great strength and conditioning coach for a year now, and a personal trainer before him. Been the PT route. Twice. There is no pain in that shoulder (just tension on the bottom of my scap close to the bottom of my t-spine). I’ve been doing mobility work for almost a year now, both from MWOD and my coach. There is some decreased range of motion, but it isn’t THAT bad. Elbow flexion isn’t good in that arm, and sometimes my scapula/lat mobility prevents me from organizing myself for proper overhead form. I keep working on t-spine/lat mobility and it IS better than it was. 

      Pulling isn’t a problem, pressing is a huge problem. I know I’ve my age and gender working against me in the strength department (53 yr old woman), but there is a difference between slow gains and, basically, none after more than a year of HARD intense work. I’ve certainly seen improvement in every other area of my fitness (thankfully).
      I am working with all the mobs I can find for neck/OH/t-spin and lats. I’ve found that working with my neck actually frees up that shoulder. Just curious if anyone has had this experience of an inability to gain strength and if you were able to solve it.
      In case the information helps, I’ve done a lot of t-spine mobilization, my taped “peanuts” are close friends and am considering perhaps adding some weight to that at the gym. I do banded distractions to both shoulders before every workout – in all directions. I’ve tried to apply a lacross ball to my first rib, it is awkward but still working on it. Thinking about applying the barbell to my shoulder as he shows in the videos. In the end it is hard to know if my problem stems from soft tissue restriction or something mechanical within my shoulder complex.
    • #72097

      Are you addressing the lack of elbow flexion in that arm?
      Have you addressed areas up stream and down stream of where you are seeing the issue?
      Yes, working with your neck can free up things in your shoulder. Keep working with this.
      If you aren’t seeing improvements with what you are addressing your are not hitting the cause of the issue yet. If your first rib is out that can cause other things not to have proper positioning which are contributing factors to what you are experiencing.

    • #72098

      hmmm, good point about the elbow flexion, I’ve been focusing more on things upstream. I had a bad whiplash injury a while back that took me off the mountain bike permanently (because of the consequences of a repeat), so there is certainly some cervical spine involvement. My physio said the entire shoulder complex has a role to play but I’ve not thought about the elbow (which has been broken) or the first rib. I will keep working on this. Thank you! I didn’t think the first rib could have such an impact…but everything IS connected!

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