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 Post subject: Uneven lower traps
PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 3:29 am 
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Deific Wizard of Sagacity
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As some of you guys know, my posture is all messed up, and I stand with a sideways lean. I'm fixing that (all hail hip mobility drills).

But I noticed that after my mob. drills I can stand up straight...by my right lower trap is MUCH larger than my left lower trap. It's visibly longer when I look at snapshots of my back, and not by a small amount. It's several cm longer and a little wider as well. I can only assume this is from uneven loading when I deadlift, squat, etc.

Is there a way to bring up a lagging lower trap? I can't imagine this much of a difference is good. Or is this something that will just sort itself out if I get my posture even and then resume deadlifting?


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 3:50 am 
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have you viewed the shoulder articulations on exrx.net website of all the different movements and to see which one you can lift weight more with or whatever? I think that all the shoulder movements should be used by the same weight (how I try to do it), especially the flexion/extension, pronation/supination, and so on.

My advice would be to stick to mobility drills and unilateral work right now until you have both sides balanced out. This is one reason why I do not do one muscle exercises anymore unless its light weight and for endurance like the shoulder lateral raises/front raises/rear delt raise ones, etc. I am more for compound and I want to make sure I do not get anymore inbalances. I also used to have one shoulder higher than the other and one leg longer than the other (the chiropractor fixed those areas). I am putting mobility drills workout together and also a stretching routine together (PNF), but first before I do that, I want to find different tests and test my inbalances to balance the flexiblity/strength out first before going any further with the good one.

As far as shoulder work goes, here is my plan. I put this together today with the best movements that fit each. Hopefully they are all correct and I understand the movements. The only way to workout right now is at home with dumbbells... The only movements I had trouble trying to find an exercise to fit is transverse addction and flexion. I do not understand the word Transverse very well.



(all with 3 pounds and moving up to 5 and no more than 5). My Goal? Endurance and reduce risk for injury and make sure the muscles are balanced.
Scapula, Clavicle
*Abduction (Protraction) - Supine 1 Arm DB Protraction (faced up)
*Adduction (Retraction) - Prone 1 Arm DB Retraction (faced down)
*Depression - Shoulders Down Shrugs
*Elevation - Shoulders Hunched Shrugs

Shoulders
*Flexion (up)/Extension (down) - Front Raises
*Abduction/Adduction - Lateral Raise
*Transverse Adduction - Chest Fly with arms 90 degrees
*Transverse Flexion - Chest Fly with elbows slighty bent
*Transverse Abduction - Bent Over Raise
*Transverse Extension - Shoulders Bench Press (squeeze shoulder blades together back down)
*Medial Rotation (Internal Rotation) - DB Laying Internal Rotation
*Lateral Rotation (External Rotation) - DB Laying External Rotation

By the way, have you ever seen a chiropractor before? I mean a real one that knows full body adjustments. I believe that the ones that do not know full body needs to go to back to school to learn more before actually working as one. The first one I ever went to knew only a few moves (back and hip) and thats it. He claimed I have scoiliosis (which I do not) and wanted me to come 3 times a week. My chiropractor I have now knows about 104 moves and is a great one with tons of experience. One of my teachers at my college recommended him. The chiropractor I had before just cared about getting money and keeping people longer. He also only accepted cash and checks (no credit cards). Becareful if you are going to try and find a chiropractor. Some just want your money. Find one who knows full body adjustments and if you can, ask around and see if they have been to chiropractors around your area and if they recommend him or her.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 8:43 am 
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Do you mean have I tested the various articulations? No, I haven't. When I train I do a wide variety of exercises, so I don't really particularly worry about balance...between crossfit and complexes and dumbbell versions of Olympic lifts and all the grappling and such that I do I seem to be developing fairly well in balance. Just lopsided left-right, which isn't a surprise since my posture has been lopsides left-right most of this time. Admittedly I'm injured right now, but that's a combination of a pre-existing condition and just too much exercise too intensely for too long with no rest.

Chiropractic - no, I haven't gone to one either. I've been asking around for one, but I've been taking it slowly because I'd prefer one fluent in English (although my medical Japanese is very good, it's easier to be precise in my native language). But since my posture looks so much better after doing mobility drills regularly plus static stretching at night to reinforce it, I'm going to take it even more slowly. I'll see how I do after a month or so of what I'm doing now.

Pretty much I'm doing most of the stuff from this article:

Basically, I'm doing some of the dynamic drills from this article: Get Your Butt in Gear I by Eric Cressey and Mike Robertson.
http://www.t-nation.com/readArticle.do?id=495189

I'm doing the Quadruped Hip Mobility ("Fire-hydrants"), Over-Under Drills, Reverse Lunge with a Twist, Squat-to-Stand, Side-Steps (without a mini-band, I need a band), Hip Corrections, Floor Bridges (two leg and one leg), and a few others from Core Performance like one-leg Romanian Deadlifts (unweighted) for balance and Side Lunges. I do 6 per leg or 12 per side. It seems to be helping, when I do posture check pictures my shoulders are much more level and my hips are level, so clearly it's improving. It's just the traps that look unevenly developed.

Peter


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 10:15 am 
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dumbbell row might work for lower trap.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 10:21 am 
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Thanks for the link Pdellorto.
Those drills are just what I have been searching for.
I too suffer from poor posture and very lopsided hips (frustrating when in front of a mirror). A victim of a unilateral job in the trades for 18 years and counting, plus a lifetime of high impact sports and injuries (dirt bikes) it has taken a toll.
Chiro says degenerative disc. I was getting adjustments once a week for 3 monthsand have backed it off to twice a month. between seeing him, daily stretches for hip, glute, piniformis area along with the MMA program (I see you are a fighter) I have noticed huge mobility progress and drastic decrease in sciatic pain.
Against my chiro's advice (they all hate certain exercises), I started squatting and deadlifting, I have really noticed far less pain since incorporating these lifts. I haven't had sciatic foot pain in 2 weeks where I used to have it bad nightly.
I just tried some of the drills in the article and plan to add that to my program.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 10:47 am 
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Pdell, tks for the link. As to the traps isue, try 1 arm swings, snatches on the weak side. Should bring them up pretty quickly.
Tim


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 11:07 am 
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Not that I think you would miss the obvious... but just encase...

Are you sure that one shoulder blade isn't more winged than the other? which would create more of a 'spread' and make it look bigger?

I don't have the links handy just now - I have a new computer and all my favorites are still not copied over. However, "prone trap raises" are also a good option.

KPj


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 3:40 pm 
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thanks for the link of dynamic drills pdellorto. There are other dynamic/mobility drills (A LOT) on this website...
Mobility - http://www.ronjones.org/Coach&Train/Bod ... index.html
Dynamic - http://www.ronjones.org/Coach&Train/Bod ... index.html

I don't remember where I got this from, but there are dynamic warm ups here as well
http://college.holycross.edu/department ... arm-Up.mov (.mov file)

an order the mobility drills can be done in (found this from a stretching website) and if doing them in order, you make sure your not missing any movements. Can be done from head to toe or toe to head.
fingers and knuckles
wrists
elbows
arms
shoulders
neck
trunk/waist
hips
legs
knees
ankles
toes


By the way, here are movements from head to toe thats good to know and do the movements based on what each does to make sure your not missing out a movement. I am going to start this myself and hopefully increase my mobility (especially in my neck and hips). My ankles, shoulders, spine (except for bending forward flat as a table because of hamstrings), elbow, and wrist are fine, but I will still do mobility drills for them. My main focus will be scapulae (neck) and hip (the most tight areas)

Source: http://www.ifafitness.com/stretch/stretch8.htm

Neck
Flexion: 70-90 degrees - Touch sternum with chin.
Extension: 55 degrees - Try to point up with chin.
Lateral bending: 35 degrees - Bring ear close to shoulder.
Rotation: 70 degrees left & right - Turn head to the left, then right.

Lumbar Spine
Flexion: 75 degrees - Bend forward at the waist.
Extension: 30 degrees - Bend backward.
Lateral bending: 35 degrees - Bend to the side.

Shoulder
Abduction: 180 degrees - Bring arm up sideways.
Adduction: 45 degrees - Bring arm toward the midline of the body.
Horizontal extension: 45 degrees - Swing arm horizontally backward.
Horizontal flexion: 130 degrees - Swing arm horizontally forward.
Vertical extension: 60 degrees - Raise arm straight backward.
Vertical flexion: 180 degrees - Raise arm straight forward.

Elbow
Flexion: 150 degrees - Bring lower arm to the biceps
Extension: 180 degrees - Straighten out lower arm.
Supination: 90 degrees - Turn lower arm so palm of hand faces up.
Pronation: 90 degrees - Turn lower arm so palm faces down.

Wrist
Flexion: 80-90 degrees - Bend wrist so palm nears lower arm.
Extension: 70 degrees - Bend wrist in opposite direction.
Radial deviation: 20 degrees - Bend wrist so thumb nears radius.
Ulnar deviation: 30-50 degrees - Bend wrist so pinky finger nears ulna.

Hip
Flexion: 110-130 degrees - Flex knee and bring thigh close to abdomen.
Extension: 30 degrees - Move thigh backward without moving the pelvis.
Abduction: 45-50 degrees - Swing thigh away from midline.
Adduction: 20-30 degrees - Bring thigh toward and across midline.
Internal rotation: 40 degrees - Flex knee and swing lower leg away from midline.
External rotation: 45 degrees - Flex knee and swing lower leg toward midline.

Knee
Flexion: 130 degrees - Touch calf to hamstring.
Extension: 15 degrees - Straighten out knee as much as possible.
Internal rotation: 10 degrees - Twist lower leg toward midline.

Ankle
Flexion: 45 degrees - Bend ankle so toes point up.
Extension: 20 degrees - Bend ankle so toes point down.
Pronation: 30 degrees - Turn foot so the sole faces out.
Supination: 20 degrees - Turn foot so the sole faces in.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 6:11 pm 
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Thanks for the links, caangeloxx. Those are helpful. I've done some of those too...mildy sprained my right knee's lateral ligament doing drop lunges, no more of those. But I'm looking for a good variety so I can mix and match them and alternate them around.

I'm pretty sure it's not excessive winging. The right lower trap is really that much wider and longer - it extends much lower on my right side, and no amount of moving around seems to want to change that. Otherwise my own self-diagnosis is that my scapula are in place properly, and I asked my orthopedist about them during my recent check on my impingement - I specifically asked about winging and placement, he said they are even and aligned correctly.

I'm taking this week or so off, but I'll try to toss some extra swings, rows, and snatches in on my left side when I start back up.

Peter


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 7:18 pm 
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source: http://munfitnessblog.com/how-to-solve- ... e-problem/

"One of the ways is to go for dumbbell instead of barbell or machine. For instance, take dumbbell each in your right hand and left hand instead of using barbell for your bench press if you want to fix the problem of having imbalance chest muscles. As for thighs, you can opt for lunges instead of squats. "


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 9:01 pm 
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Yeah, dumbbell unilateral exercises are great. I do them. Like I said, my sucky posture probably caused this by offloading more of the work on one trap even when I did unilateral work - after all, I was tilted to the side, so the weight held in either hand would have to distribute unevenly to my muscles or I'd fall over. So all the unilateral work I have been doing (one hand snatches, swings, years of one arm dumbbell rows and dumbbell presses) didn't do much to help...but if I'm straight and level it sure should help!

FWIW, I posted up a picture. Ignore the black spot - it's tape. I had a knot in my muscles in one spot yesterday and I stuck tape there so I could determine what muscle hurt. It's then I realized how uneven my lower traps are:

http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b287/ ... 7001ss.jpg

Peter


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 9:28 pm 
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oh I cannot really tell much of a difference because I cannot see your shoulders and the rest of your body.

by the way, do you have a digital camera at home or video camera that you can tape yourself working out? You may have good form on one side, but not on the other, and that usually causes muscle imbalances. Try and test the unilateral exercises you are doing (with a camera for good form) and use the weight that you can keep good form with for the left side and the right side, and then write them down. If you can use more weight on one of your sides, then your other side is weaker; therefore, you need to use the same weight your weaker side uses.

Proper form is a must. If proper form breaks at anytime when you are testing your max, time to decrease the weight until you keep proper form and the one you have proper form with is your max for that muscle.

ex. if you could do prone lower trap raises with 10 pounds with good form on your right side as a max, but cannot perform good form with 10 pounds on your left side as a max, that means you need to decrease the weight and keep lowering the weight until good form is there. If good form is even 8 pounds max on your left side, then your right side needs to use that too. Once you find out what weight makes your form even on both sides, use it. Do not ever go up weight until your form is perfect on both sides.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 10:39 pm 
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caangeloxx, you're preaching to the choir. For years I've pretty much what you're suggesting - compound exercises, perfect form, video recording exercises, form over weight, matching the stronger side's work to the weaker side, etc. etc.

Really, it's just concern over uneven development that seems a logical consequence of uneven posture (right shoulder lower, right hip higher). It sounds like if I just do a little extra left side work and keep my posture correct, I should even up quickly. I hope that's the case. I'll know in a month or two of lifting.

By the way, I'm going to get some hands-on deadlifting coaching over Christmas vacation when I visit the US. There is a Crossfit guy near my mom's house so I'll learn from him. Between someone coaching me in person and pre-DL mobility drills to keep my posture even, I think my deadlift will get better. That can't help but help my traps even up...which like I said earlier, I regard as a symptom of a problem. I mean, my biceps are a little uneven, but that's a non-issue, I'm a fighter not a bodybuilder. When it's my lower back muscles, I worry. :)


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2007 12:55 am 
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oh ok.

I'm staying away from lower body bilateral work right now because I am sick of one side getting more work than the other. My hips like to shift on one leg slightly more than the other instead of both legs at once. I don't want to make it worse.

I did a "thomas test" tonight that I found online (having my mom sit on my thighs with me laying on the table, to make the test accurate) and my left leg is tighter than my right leg; therefore it is weaker. I knew that might be the case and hip flexor tightness (both are tight, just one is weaker and lengthen more) causing my hamstrings to be tight (not touching my toes). After I did the test and then do the hamstring test, I was able to reach farther than I did before the hip flexor stretch. The good thing about the hamstrings is that I have no imbalance in them because my reach was the same on both sides using measuring tape. If the range of motion is not the same, that is where imbalance comes in. One thing about my left leg though is I could balance better on it than I can on my right, which is weird even though I am right handed. I do bat left handed though (the only thing I really do left handed and that is because my mom is left handed and she showed me left handed when I started playing softball). I think why one hip flexor is tighter than the other because when I practice warming up my throwing myself against the fence or into the net, I am in a hip flexor stretch position with my left knee up, right leg back when I start my warm up. I am not going to do that anymore. My quad flexibility is fine (My butt is always in the way when I stretch it to my butt on both legs lol (even when I do butt kicks). My hip adductors are pretty flexible when stretched without the glutes/lower back/hip flexors in the way. My hip abductors are tight, so those need work. My scapulae needs work too turning my head to the left (I could turn my head to the right better than I can to the left). I think my lower back is fine because I can sit in a chair and bend over with my stomach laying on my thighs. I just cannot do it when my legs are straight.

I also did a shoulder flexibility test too (trying to touch the fingers of the other fingers on my back) and I am lacking shoulder flexibility in the shoulder area (shoulder rotation). I could stretch my arms up overhead fine though, but I think its the muscle that are tight (whatever muscle my arm that try's to grab my overhead arm's fingers during the shoulder rotation stretch). I have a gap of 4-5cm between fingers on both sides.

What I need to work on - hip flexors, hip abductors, hamstrings, shoulder rotators, and neck rotations. I think calves are good and plus the calves are being stretched when sprinting (sprinting is always on the balls of feet and heel off the ground). I'm pretty fast.

BTW, do you know the name of the muscle of the arm that is used trying to reach the fingers of the arm stretched overhead behind our backs? I can feel tightness and that is what is probably stopping me from reaching my fingers of the arm over the shoulder.


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