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Shoulder Balance Madness

You thought I was dead didn't you? Well I cant be killed by normal human means but this Geospacial Mapping class might just do it (do yourself a favor and get a trade). Anyways today I wanna talk with yall about the age ol "Pull more than you Push" adage that these bozo trainers are spouting. Believe what you want but dudes have placed Lat work on the back burner (that's a pun) for years, just hitting the big 3 and making major progress, and generally without issue.

Now a lot of this has to do with shoulder health but what doesnt ever seem to get talked about is scapular function.


So your scapula (shoulder blade) can move all over the damn place but most notably (and most commonly) it retracts and depresses. Think the old bench cue to put your shoulders in your back pocket. Basically your pulling your shoulders back and down. Now think about this: you retract and depress your shoulder blades during benching, but you also do this anytime you pull. You finish a row by pinching your shoulders together, you finish a chinup by "putting your elbows in your pocket", damn dude it's like all your scapula do is retract and depress. So what's the opposite of back and down? Forward and up. But how do we do this relatively safely?

So we gotta get them scaps forward and up (protracted and uhh reached?) under load; let's call this movement THRUST. 1) because it's accurately describing the motion your scapula takes. 2) because it's a hilarious euphemism that makes me feel like a grade school boy again.

The ol Polish Thrust (Hellish Quart looks cool)

So the 3 best Thrust options are: overhead work, pushups, and clubs/maces. To start with you all better be overhead pressing in some capacity, AND LOCKING OUT. The portion of the OHP where you lock out is crucial for shoulder blade protraction and reaching (still not sure of the word for upward tilting of the scapula). Anytime you lock out, make sure you try to touch your shoulders to your ears. This will allow your traps to get a good pump too, since the upward rotation of the scapula is a function of the traps. Pushups are very similar, you need to spread them wings at the top of the motion. Do the literal opposite of what you would you want to do in a bench press by pushing your shoulders towards the ground at the top of a pushup. And the final motion in our scapular thrust arsenal is anything dealing with a club or mace. The complexity of motion in the shoulder girdle elicited by a club mill or mace 360° is pretty nuts. Your scapula ho through almost every motion you can think of as the circle is completed. At the rack, by your belly button, you have the usual depression and retraction. Then at the pendulum behind your back (where the work is done) you have a rapid transition to upward rotation and protraction. And this is all taking place unilaterally in the back as the mace/club swings. It's like the cycling of a rifle but in your shoulder blades.

Anyways the takeaway here is to think of the Push:Pull ratio in a new light. Think of it more as a Thrust/Pull:Horizontal Push ratio. TP:HP.

Toilet paper health points or whatever.

Ok so announcements: I'm gonna try and pump out at least 2 articles a month, I've been slacking. Also Wrist Wizard is at a stand still. I'm on Armbet so I'm trying to get some experience in AW before I start telling guys how to optimize their work. So try and find me on that because I'll arm tussle any of yall.

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Jacob Ensign
Jacob Ensign
18. Okt. 2020

Good advice Rune, I did chinups and pulldowns yesterday. Pull focus that day with a little tricep delt balance. Today is bench and overhead press. My latspread is greatful.

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