Shoulder Centration in the TGU Part 1

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Shoulder Centration in the TGU Part 1 | Week 26 | Movement Fix Monday

A lot of people have shoulder pain. One thing that is surprising is if you compare someone's painful shoulder to their non-painful shoulder, a lot of times the painful shoulder moves MORE than their pain free shoulder. This is actually pretty common.

So what do we usually attempt to do to make something stop hurting? Stretch it and roll on it.

Well...if the painful shoulder already moves too much and you have unsuccessfully been trying to stretch it out and roll it really hard, you may need to stop thinking in that paradigm and instead work on controlling your shoulder with better muscular support and better function of the joint.

Joint Centration

Whenever you move a joint, there is an optimal bony alignment possible that offers the best potential muscular support of the joint. This is called joint centration. If you centrate a joint, you aren't unduly stressing one part of the joint or one area of passive connective tissue.

One of the ways I use to see if people automatically centrate their shoulder is during the turkish get up (TGU). Whenever you watch someone move with little to no instruction, it tells you a lot about how they habitually use their body and how they support themselves. Do they use active positions? Do they rely on passive connective tissue? Do they centrate?

Joint centration also offers improved performance. Since you have better bony alignment, you can physically load it more and because there is best muscular support, you have the best length of the muscles surrounding the joint to create strong contraction.

Drill it

Once I teach someone how to centrate their shoulder (as shown in the video), I have them drill going into and out of joint centration and teach their brain to become comfortable in the centrated position and to consider that position "right". They may have to create strength to hold centration, but more importantly to me is repetitively getting in to this position to appreciate what it feels like (more of a motor learning thing vs a strength thing).

Over time, as someone uses their shoulder in this improved way, they can become stronger, have decreased pain, etc.

Thanks for reading! There will certainly be a part 2, maybe part 3, and possibly part 4.


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