We see a ton of shoulder injuries in gymnastics. Men’s gymnastics and women’s gymnastics alike. We have obviously a ton of different events and a ton of different skills that are happening and there are different demands placed on the shoulders.
If we think about bars, we’re swinging around the bar and a significant load is placed on the shoulders while also having to maintain that mobility. In gymnastics, there’s a lot of blocking that comes from the shoulders. We tend to focus a lot on our lower body strength and leave out the shoulders.
Strengthening The Upper Body
Strengthening the upper body can prevent shoulder injuries. We need to make sure that we’re really training into those specific ranges of motion that are most common in gymnastics.For example, shoulder flexion. That’s when you move your arms anywhere from a resting position by your sides to straight above your head. Same thing with getting into internal rotation of the shoulders. It’s another huge range of motion that’s required for a lot of different skills in gymnastics.
Strengthening the rotator cuff specifically, not just when it’s injured will also help maintain that strength and mobility. So that when we’re off-season or it’s time to show off, we’re not falling back because we have those injuries that we could have prevented.