Making the Invisible Visible

10 years of jiu-jitsu has not been kind to my body. I started when I was 16, but after years of skipping mobility and stretching routines, I’ve had a few injuries, mainly my shoulders.

In a previous blog I mentioned pain, numbness, and swelling are lagging indicators. Position and movement are leading indicators, meaning we can use position and movement to address an underlying range of motion issue.

I had pain in my shoulder for years. It’s manageable and I am working on it to increase my range of motion and eventually I would like to be pain free. The pain is the lagging indicator.

The leading indicators would have been my shoulders rounded forward (position) and the fact that I couldn’t hold my arm at 90 degrees (movement)

We can use position as a diagnostic tool to address range of motion issues. We can challenge position with one of the following tools:

  1. Load – We can add weight to the back squat
  2. Cardio Respiratory Demand – Carry something heavy or sprint a short distance. Get the athlete breathing heavy
  3. Metabolic Load – a 20 rep front squat
  4. Stress – competing in front of a crowd.
  5. Change the Movement – 10 clean and jerks vs 10 cleans and 10 jerks

We can use these tools to address issues before a lagging indicator becomes present. This could have saved me years of shoulder recovery work.