I've been batteling shoulder/rotator cuff pain & impingment/tendonosis for a number of years now. I did PT, massage, accupuncture last year and decided to hang up the ski early last fall to rehab. I'm hopeful that it doesn't keep me off the water, but I know I will have to take it easy & not ski as much as I can/like at 1 time. 2 sets a day, every 2-3 days is about all my shoulder can handle at peak skiing last year. I've been working diligently to try and get my strength up and fatigue down, and haven't come across the pain in the gym like I have on the water, yet...
I know this is a pretty common injury for skiers, so what do you do either on land or in the gym to strengthen a painful or damaged shoulder?
I would probably go back to the PT and design a plan of attack to further strengthen and stabilize the shoulders. If you PT doesn't have a clear picture of what you want to do, then it would be good idea to bring some video or schedule a field trip so you can get the most out of your sessions.
Last edited by HO410 (Mon, Apr 19, 2010 2:53 PM)
Yes, working out with injuries you must have a PT workout designed for you based on your needs, otherwise you could cause more injury.
For the fatigue part I would work on your cardio part. Spinning classes, stair master, etc.
Balance is the 1st priority. Muscle im-Balances are what cause most problems with Atheletic activities. A PT should already be working with your range of motion and balancing out your strength levels.
Since Slalom is only about 16-20 sec's or so and then rest, I like to do more explosive free wgt's and a multitude of varying angles, rep schemes and rest periods. The free wgt's are far superior for the Stabilization and Postural Balance aspects. But, ones personal limitations can sometimes dictate the substitution of some machines. Personally, I like to use standing overhead BB presses, seated DB presses, Lateral raises, Front raises and some rear delt work. The standing exercises help build core muscles and physical (postural) Balance. This is very important for any Athletics. I even do as many exercises as possible in the "Ski position" for added Balance and stabilization...
Always keep a w/o journal and monitor your progress. If your Not progressing, then change something! Be deliberate, But don't get caught up in all the Hoopla of Lots of sets, Super sets, Giant sets and all the typical B.S. that's being pushed around in the Phony Muscle Mag's and in most of the Gyms... Hit it hard, Hit it Brief and then go Home, eat and recuperate. I once put 75lbs of muscle on and I still practice what I preach...
I would absolutely get some ski coaching early this season to help identify and eliminate techical flaws that will continue to contribute or even cause your delima. I do very well in the Gym, But skiing has a way of really bringing out my weak areas! I need more help in skiing Smarter, not Harder!
P.S. a rotator cuff like a Hernia, will not heal itself if it is torn. If it is not torn, you can due very light isolation movements for the rotator area that will increase your strength and range of motion... Bungees are good, but I really like the use of light very controlled cable machines for these.
Last edited by h20dawg79 (Tue, Apr 20, 2010 4:52 AM)
thanks everyone, great comments.
I am seeing a sports med doc next week, someone I saw last year & will make an appt. with his PT & RMT once I see him. My previous PT was great at first, but she is in build mode & didn't have a lot of time with me. I also felt it was moving a little too slow at the end of it (also spending $$$$$ on PT every week or 2 weeks, doing the same thing when I could be spending it on skiing and doing the PT at home for free).
My rotator cuff issue is not severe on their accounts, no tears (they think), just muscle imbalance, predominantly in my upper back. I do think its more severe than they believe, but we'll see what the doc says.
I've been focused on form, reps & NO pain while at the gym. If I feel any little tweak I stop and adjust or quit that exercise. I feel now that I've got a good repetoir of exercises that don't cause any pain. I am getting stronger and feel less pain or fatigue in my shoulder now & I've only been back at it for a few weeks.
I am currently not doing any overhead exercises, mostly focuses on my traps, pecs and shoulders 2x a week on top of my theraband exercises. I am working in running on the treadmill for cardio in between workouts so I can get to the gym almost every day during the week. I find that when I only go a few times I will skip sessions. 4-5 days of exercise I've learned is key & I know when I start really skiing again I won't be lifting as much & still want to utilize the gym instead of ignore it.
Are there any kind of stretches or exercises anyone has done that really helped build their shoulder and back muscles? Again I am not doing anything over head so things like pullups and bench presses are out right now.
Last edited by Killer (Tue, Apr 20, 2010 6:10 AM)
I can't recommend any specific exercises on-line, due to your present cond... But, I can suggest what to shoot for in your near future.
The Best bang for your buck will be to concentrate on "The Big Basics" or compound movements. These are what pwr. Lifters concentrate on. The priority list is: #1.(Best) free wgt. squats. #2. Dead Lifts #3. Bench press #4. B/B Rows, end Bar Rows and Close grip seated Rows. #5. Standing B/B overhead press.
Compound movements efficiently work your core and improve your overall strength and pwr. by working your Big muscles and your stabilizers all in one movement. No need to waste time doing endless sets of Biceps and Triceps, Leg curls and extensions, etc, etc...
Most people mistakenly think their "Core" is their ab's! You can do ab work 'til the freakin' cows come Hm. and will have only slightly (very slightly) improved your "Core" strength. That's because your Core is also your Low, mid and partially your upper-Back. It is also very much your Hip region... The above listed exercises if done right, will work all of your primary core muscles and improve your overall Health like No other! The body works in unison with the whole body as 1 unit. I have done NO arm work (curls, tri ext's, etc...) since sometime last summer. Yet, by doing the above Basics fairly Hard and consistently, my Bi's are over 17". That is just a by-product of doing the Basics, with no intentional effort on my part.
"Cardio" can also be done (and done very well) right in the wgt. rm. for those who hate getting on Hamster wheels and turning off their minds for 45 mins.! It takes some deliberate action and a little augmenting from the typical wgt. routine. But, for building postural Balance, Explosive muscle strength and SPEED, the typical cardio w/o (of long durations with a moderately high H/R) can not compare. The typical cardio w/o is better then nothing and is even enjoyable for some people. But, as with many other sports, Slalom is short and sweet like a sprint or taking a crushing swing at a Baseball and then exploding to 1st Base. Not only do you need the Oxygen to do these, but you also need muscles that can respond very Quickly and accurately to the ongoing balancing act that allows one to move swiftly and powerfully around the Bases or Buoy's. This is probably why a lot of Pro skiers snow ski and Mtn. Bike. But, mindless time on treadmills and such can never accomplish this aspect.
Begin your quest to find what it is that makes you feel 10' tall and Bullet proof! Then go out and ski like DeNiro!
Last edited by h20dawg79 (Tue, Apr 20, 2010 6:11 PM)
going in for an ultrasound tomorrow, so the doc can determine if there is anything torn or whatnot.
my biggest source of pain or weakness is with abduction (raising my arms from my sides towards my head) I can barely lift 5lbs to shoulder level. everything else seems to be within reason, but I am very weak in this area. Could be from years of abuse or genetic IMO. will see what the doctor says
Wow Man! 5lbs. Thats not Cool at all... There is just so many things that could be going on there. But bottom line, if your dn. to a 5lb. lateral raise, your doing the right thing by having the experts take a Looksie or two.
I have seen on more then 1 occasion where the pain and weaknes that was represented in the shoulder was actually manifested by the Scapula (Shoulder Blade) not rotating fully or properly. When this Happens it will not show up on Typical imaging unless there is enuf swelling/inflamation in the upper back to detect, and they also actually check the mid Back area and not just focus on the area where the pain is...
Hopefully it will be easily diagnosed and quickly Healed!
I can lift 5lbs laterally, and am trying some side lateral raises, as well as arm presses against a wall (put elbow against a wall and make a right angle with your arm at shoulder height, push down on the arm with your free hand and resist, this works the supraspinateus.
a 10lb weight I can only do a few reps and a few sets, it is my supraspinatus (sp) tendon. normal tendons should be able to do about 8% of body weight I'm told, for me that is about 15lbs. most normal shoulders would have a tough time with a 20lb lateral raise for more than a 8 reps and 3 sets. If you're doing more you have a very strong shoulder muscle.
I am considering buying Fluid Motions slalom harness to keep my arms down while skiing. Not great for full extension but it could keep my shoulders out of the danger zone and prevent any further impingement
http://www.jagersport.com/product_info. … cts_id=260
Colin thanks for the tip on Yoga, have you had similar issues and it helped? I contact a friend who's a yoga instructor. 1 thing we have a lot of in Toronto is yoga studios...... I could be the only straight guy in most of them though....
hi - the harness will help you out. almost all joint issues come from imbalances as stated earlier. i had back issues playing hockey this year and felt way too bound up tight. i hired a PT who put me on the TRX system and now 6 months in i have never felt better!! So if you are looking for a solution that is the TRX. If you want to enjoy some skiing while you work things out, the harness will help. i started last year on the harness due to mid back pull. this year i am already mid-season shape because of the trx workouts, my back feels great.
http://www.jagersport.com/product_info. … cts_id=296
the TRX is a combination of yoga, stretches, strength and range of motion work. i got three books with it and i do ALL of the excercises, even addicted to them esp the back, quad stretches and core work. it makes you realize that a) waterskiing is a heck of a workout and b) but (slalom) doesn't do enough range of motion so you get strong but tight in the lower body area.
Last edited by Shark (Wed, Apr 28, 2010 10:53 AM)
I have a similar problem, having dislocated my shoulder at least a dozen times in HS sports and college football. Surgery helped (I was 18), but I wouldn't want to do it again because rehab for me was close to 18 months! I'm 48, and have done regular dumbell exercises since I was in my lower 20's. My recommendation would be to work with dumbells, whatever weight you can handle (don't worry about the number) and work up in weight very gradually. You'll definitely want to do a workout that covers all areas of the shoulders. I happen do Military (overhead) press, upright rowing, front raises, lateral raises, and bent rowing, and this combo of exercises has enabled me to play all sports with my 3 sons, and coach. There's lots of good exercises to choose from, but make sure your form is perfect, as you want to develop/encourage full range of motion. I typically have done 30 reps per day, 3 days per week. Usually 2 sets of 15, with very little to no rest between sets. The workout shouldn't take much time. In my case, the muscles compensate for a real sloppy shoulder joint with lots of hardware in it. You'll get there, but it will take some time, patience and pain. I've only slalom for 5 years, occassionally ski the course, but do take long turns behind the boat alternating with the family. I've never had to worry about my shoulder. (of course my back is another story ... so the core needs attention!) Good luck!
thanks for all your helps everyone! I really like the look of the TRX, but I am going to continue the physio exercises and the gym right now, TRX for the fall when I don't like leaving my house and no skiing to keep me in shape!
sooo I'm in a good mood today, its only Inflamation in the rotator cuff, no tears or abnormalities showed up in the ultrasound...
I got a cortizone shot in the troublesome shoulder and the doc thinks that should do it as long as I stick to the theraband PT program, light weights high reps and strengthening.
That's Great News! You'll be back in the saddle B4 you know it...
I have had nagging issues with my left shoulder up until eight months ago when I started a daily yoga routine. Wanted to avoid spending money on going to yoga studios to be the only straight guy there so I just bought books and learned on my own. The book I started with is called Yoga Mind and Body from the Sivananda Yoga Vendanta Center. Weird name but the book will give you all the info you need to get started practicing the exercises and working on your breathing and relaxation techniques. You can skip the parts about the vegetarian diet and meditation if you like or go for the holistic lifestyle and see what happens. Personally I skip the vegetarian section of the book and regulate my own diet but the other sections to have been invaluable not just for my shoulder but my overall skiing in general.
Colin, bought that book, just trying to get going with it now. Its not easy!!
as far as my injury goes, its flared up again, probably due to me ignorning the nagging signs and doing things anyways (like skiing & taking slack hits @-28 that I shouldn't take)
I haven't skied more than a few sets per week the last month, but the pain and inflamation is back with a vengance. Had a massage to release the muscles, and am taking some time off the water for a bit.
I was just getting into a good groove with my skiing, going to have to take a step back now.
anyone have or has gone through similar pain & weakness with the supraspinateus tendon?