Preventing shoulder injury is all about balance. The balance comes between proper muscle strength and flexibility. It is important to be strong,mobile, and be able to accommodate to any condition or situation. Wakeboarding is a one-sided sport with dominance in both hand and foot. Balancing is the key to make sure you are riding long through this upcoming season and many more to come injury free!
Where to start: A training program designed to increase muscle strength while not sacrificing range of motion and flexibility.
What will help: Neuromuscular reeducation. Training your muscles to fire when needed, in proper sequence, to ensure each muscle works to its highest potential. This will include sport-specific exercises to engage and retrain the musculature.
Shoulder Strength Exercises:
1. Kettle Bell Swings- With a kettle bell or weight in hand, squat with kettlebell between legs. Swing the weight up as you stand and continue swinging until arms are overhead. Lower back down into a squat. Repeat. Make sure to maintain a tight core to protect the lower back.
2. Wall Angels- Begin this exercises with your feet, buttocks, lowback, and neck/head all against the wall. Bring arms up overhead, while maintaining contact with the wall. Act as though you are doing a snow angel against the wall. The purpose of this exercises is to train the upper back and shoulders, while maintaining a neutral spine. For a demonstration, watch this video by Men’s Fitness UK.
3. Triplane Flying Pushups- Attach a full circle resistance band, like the Superflex band around a chin up bar or something of equal height. Attain a push up position with the band around your waist. Move from central, left, and right completing a full push up and exploding to the next position. For added difficulty, add an incline or Bosu ball to the sides to vary the push up surface.
Thanks to Ned for introducing me to this exercise!
1. Handle Pass on Indo Board: Attach a handle to small weight. While maintaining balance on the Indo Board with knees slightly bent, begin to pass the handle. Continue around 15 times and then switch directions and repeat.
2. Resistance Band Handle Movements- This exercise will be varied depending on what tricks you are working on/towards. You can do these on solid ground or on an Indo Board. The purpose is to do handle movements against resistance which is anchored to mimic a line and handle. Doing repetitive motions mimicking tricks will help to build, not only shoulder strength, but muscle memory. For example, moving your arm in a crosswise fashion across your face and body to mimic a whirlybird, or pulling the resistance band to the middle of your back for landing blind. This will help to coordinate muscle movement while building strength.
Again, preventing shoulder injury is a fine balance between strength and flexibility. Train properly and you should remain injury free!