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The Shoulder And The Grip

Train your Grip To Train Your Shoulder

In many strength training programs considerable time is devoted to strengthening the muscles that protect the shoulder.  ‘Lying external rotation’, the ’empty can’ exercise, ‘lateral raises’ and a variety of movements and patterns with bands and dumbbells are often used.                                                                          Human Anatomy

What is interesting is that if you place your hand in a neutral position and perform a gripping exercise you will activate at least two of the four rotator cuff muscles, supraspinatus and infraspinatus, that are important in shoulder stability.

It should be noted that when using your hands playing sport you are also stressing the shoulder.  To grip powerfully your hands need a base of support to produce power.  The distal shoulder is involved in providing a strong platform for the grip.

Getting your hands stronger does two important things:

1). As your hands become strong so must your shoulders.  In other words, as you train your grip the rotator cuff musculature adapts as well.  This is important physiologically so that the hands are able to apply maximum force.

2). Hand strength allows you to reduce forces that can disrupt shoulder integrity.  The stronger the hands are during aggressive play aids in keeping your shoulder alignment in place.

Pendulum Grip Machine

Do not let your shoulders, ‘shoulder the load’ alone, train your hands to Get Strong.



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Pendulum outside the Naval Academy’s new weight room installation. Getting Strong at the Naval Academy