Shoulder Maintenance and Preparation for Dryland Paddling

surfing fitness Apr 15, 2020

After a lot of inactivity, the shoulder tend to deteriorate faster than the rest of our body simply because we aren't reaching over our heads in our daily lives all that much.  

With my foot injury, and now this shelter-in-place, I've been quite inactive, in my entire body!  But I'm slowly rehabbing the foot now (thank you to Jim and Shane).  And I'm almost ready to get back in the water.  

But before I do, I conduct these exercises to bring my shoulder back to a general baseline strength and mobility.  ESPECIALLY before any dryland paddling since dryland paddling is harsher on the shoulders than in-water paddling or swimming.  It's much easier for us to make technique mistakes when dryland paddling for fitness than it is paddling around in the lineup.  Often times we get so into the workout that we end up pushing down or pulling too soon which engages those tiny little rotator cuff muscles too much.  

There's a quite a bit of research behind why these 5 exercises help support the shoulder joint.  But I must remind you that I am not a PT, or doctor of any kind so please check with your PT or doctor prior to conducting any exercise.  

I've been doing these exercises for over 20 years and until I'm consistently exercising the shoulders, I warm them up with these as my general maintenance and prep routine.  

These 5 exercises are:

1. External Rotation

2. Internal Rotation

3. Shoulder Raises

4. Over the Shoulder Forward Rotation

5. Dead Hang

Watch the video to gain some more insight into how to conduct these exercises as well as targeted goals. And remember, prior to beginning the At-Home Dryland Paddling Workouts:

1. Use good technique - review the techniques in the Paddling Technique Level 1 Course

2. Have a strong and mobile baseline for your shoulders

3. Slowly add more stress and resistance

special note from Physical Therapist member of our surfing paddling community: "The shoulder raise exercise with the band in the diagonal or scaption - it’s best not to have the thumbs pointed downwards. Newer research has shown that it places too much tensile load on the supraspinatus tendon as well as increases internal rotation with elevation. The latter induces more risk of shoulder impingement and thus compressive loading on the rotator cuff tendons.  I would also just caution in the arm hang that 5 minutes is a long duration and may induce some creep into the capsules and labrum which may not be ideal especially for those already on the hypermobile spectrum with their shoulders."  Listen to the doctor and don't do the arm raises with thumbs down.

As always, please ask questions and send comments when you get a chance.  I'm only an email or phone call away.  



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