The Shoulder Girdle–Part 2

By Britt Birchall

Last week we started a new series called, “That Shoulder Girdle – Part 1″ where we talked about taking some accountability for ourselves when it comes to posture, protracted shoulders, and the consequences which result in injury when doing anything CrossFit. In this series today, we are going to take a deeper look into the importance of maintaining posture and position in the very simple yet overlooked and insanely valuable strict pull-up.

Overhand grip pull-ups “tone and sculpt”….that’s why you’re doing it right?….okay, overhand grip pull-ups develop your lats, your shoulders, and your back…but did you know if done properly, your pull-up can help develop the strength of your rack position in the back squat or any overhead position, even the handstand push-up. With that being said in CrossFit we sometimes forget that we can not rely simply on movement standards…”chin over the bar” for a good rep to get us to where we want to go. Yes, chin over the bar counts in competition, but are you reaping the full benefits of the strict pull-up? Let’s take a closer look.

OHsquat sydneystrengthconditioning michelledrielsma unhealthyfitnessindustryIn this image, can you spy which athletes are protracting or retracting at the shoulder joint?

When we allow our head to remain neutral and RETRACT the shoulder blades in the strict pull-up, we are putting our shoulders in a healthy position AND building strength in the shoulder girdle. Thus when we take a movement overhead like the strict press or overhead squat your shoulders will be stronger than ever or in the squat, your rack position will be bigger and stronger than ever, which will allow you the opportunity to squat heavier weights! Why? The issue we are dealing with when we simply follow a standard of movement…”chin over the bar for a good rep” puts our shoulders in a protracted position, which means we have completely lost the position necessary to develop the rhomboids and the middle and lower traps, which again means YIKES! we are compromising our shoulder health!

Look for Part 3 next week!

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