You swing Steel Maces and do other overhead training, but have you ever asked yourself “how capable are my shoulders and spine?” Let’s be honest, most of us just throw around weight without ever asking this question.
The Shoulder joint is a complex piece of work that we take for granted. There’s a lot going on up in there. Is it Internal Rotation, External Rotation, Extension, Flexion, Abduction, Adduction or some combination of all that? And what happens when we load the joint in different directions?
The Spine is complex and the relationship to the shoulder’s mobility or lack thereof is critical to safe long term performance.
We won't go so deep into the science of the shoulder and spine here, but let’s talk about one of the components of shoulder function that is necessary for successful swinging.
The strength of the muscles around the scapula and the stability demands during shoulder movement is essential to safe swinging. With a movement like Steel Mace 360’s or 10 to 2’s the repetitive nature requires the musculature supporting the Scapula to be strong, but it also requires endurance. Building a solid well of capacity is key to your overall health and longevity during these activities.
There are a variety of different ways we can strengthen and stabilize the Scapula, but in this article we’re going to attack it with resistance bands.
Utilizing bands can help cue you or your clients, providing the feedback you need for desired outcomes.
In the first video we are moving into a position specific to Steel Mace Swinging. The backswing is where there are large demands placed on the shoulder joint. Using the bands to provide oppositional upward force can help cue someone so that they may learn to engage and connect with the tissues around the scapula.
Understanding the spine and the demands placed on the spine during movement is key to understanding how to protect it. Most people only focus on the muscles surrounding the spine itself and neglect the fact that the frontal line of the body plays a major role in spinal support. That’s right. Your ability to control your front, impacts your back.
You’ll often hear people say “don’t let your ribs flare,” but is that what they really mean? Yes and no… Of course they mean that, but if we dig deeper, there is a “why” buried in there. What they really mean is when your ribs flare, you’ve lost control of your frontal “stuff”… your core… your abs… all that stuff that is supposed to be working.
So we use the band in video 2 to safely provide downward feedback in the specific position of the backswing. Specificity is important.
Interested in learning more about safely and effectively using bands, maces and other stuff to Upgrade your training. Follow @TheUpgradeGuys
Coach Rich Thurman ( @Coach_RT3) is a Strength & Conditioning Coach based in San Francisco, CA. He’s the founder of Steel Mace Workshops and creator of Steel Mace Education platform. He combines both Modern and Traditional use of the Steel Mace in order to safely maximize the overall strength. As co-creator of @TheUpgradeGuys he is committed to helping you upgrade the things you do starting with the body you were given.
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