Once upon a time, many years ago, I injured my shoulder.
I was at the gym and I was working out. I happened to be building my muscles alongside a fellow gym-going lady – or rather a genetically gifted, super strong, amazingly athletic fitness competitor who was so far more advanced than me that I was crazy for thinking I could keep up with her.
Now I am not in terrible shape. Yeah, I’m not too bad. But this gal, she could put the strongest guys at our gym to shame. She was soooo way out of my league – I’ll gladly admit it.
And I was trying to do what she was doing! HA!
You might ask me: “what were you thinking?!?!”
I will boldly declare to you that I was, in fact, not thinking. I believe that I left my brain in the locker room that day.
So anyways, long story short, I over did it and I ripped apart my poor little shoulder.
OUCH! OW!!! EEK!!!
I went to the doctor – that got me nowhere. Actually, it got me a bottle of pills which made me terribly sick. I hate taking medicine. And I really hate taking medicine that has awful side-effects.BLAH!!!
Then I went for massages – AH! That did it. Some shoulder-focused loving fixed me. I went from lying in my bed with tears pouring down my cheeks, to finally feeling normal again. Massages are always much better than pills, don’t you think?
Of course, my shoulder has never been the same since. I don’t have any more pain but I am limited at times with what I am able to do. I’ve adjusted though. (I’m cool like that!)
One thing I find helpful (good for the injured and non-injured alike because taking good care of your joints is a fantastically cool thing to do no matter what) are YTI’s.
These babies help strengthen your rotator cuff muscles. It's not something that will make you look smoking hot in your beach wear but it will make you feel good. And really, you can’t look your best when you are feeling your worst!
So here’s the deal. You can do these on one of those fun balls – those large, oversized ones that are rolling around your gym. Or you could also do these lying on a bench. Don’t you love options?!?!
First Step: Lie on your stomach and extend your arms up past your head in a Y shape. Your thumbs should be aimed toward the ceiling. Lift your arms upward and focus on squeezing your shoulder blades together. Lower and repeat.
Next: Form your arms into a T with your palms aimed at the floor. Again, raise and lower.
Finally: Bring your arms down by your side with palms facing the body. And you’ve got it – lift and lower once more.
To start, aim for three sets of ten reps. Beginners (and the injured or impaired – which would be me) should use no weight. Eventually, you can progress up to light weight as you get stronger.
Bonus tip: keep a neutral spine so as to protect your neck. Try to keep in one long line – no drooping or raised heads. You don’t want an achy neck.