Originally Posted by mjp2
Regarding the never roll the shoulders comment, I'm curious to know why that is.
When I do shrugs I'm very deliberate, using an up, back, forward, and down movement. I include the backward shift of the shoulders to mimic a locked-out deadlift position. It's not a roll, per se, but it's more than a straight up and down movement.
It's something I started doing over the years as I figured out what worked best for my body. Just want to make sure it's not causing harm that I'm unaware of.
Thanks for all the info!
Short answer, it's not a good idea to roll your shoulders. Long answer...
Thought it better to let someone else explain... so I found this...
Rolling the shoulders is likely to cause an injury...
Read this from a physiotherapist....
“Performing shrugs with rounded shoulders (shoulder protraction) creates increased stress at the sternoclavicular joint, acromioclavicular (AC) joint, and cervical spine. With the shoulders in a rounded position, the rhomboids and lower trapezius are in a lengthened position (altered length-tension relationship). This decreases scapulothoracic stability and increases stress into the cervical spine and shoulder complex. The upper trapezius, lower trapezius, and serratus anterior work as a force couple. If the scapula is protracted, then the serratus anterior is in a shortened position (altered length-tension relationship). This requires the upper trapezius to become over-dominant and increases stress in the cervical spine and AC joint. In addition, performing shrugs in a rounded posture decreases stabilization of the glenohumeral joint because the rotator cuff cannot maintain stability of the humeral head in the glenoid fossa with the shoulder blade muscles in a poor-length tension position. For the reasons above I would recommend that shrugs be performed in a straight up and down fashion and avoid rolling the shoulders.”
And then a more user friendly explanation...
Shrugs can be done straight(to your ear) or with the anglulation backward (behind your ear).
In the early days people would roll their shoulders forwards or backwards while performing the shrug movement thinking it would hit the muscles differently, which it does but it decreases the strain on the primary mover so it can become less effective in the process. In order to work your rhomboids shrugs are important, rolling the shoulders backwards does pinch the shoulder blades but the force of the weight is downwards so it is not very effective with the rhomboids(especially since they are downward scapular rotators). Anteriorly rolling puts more strain on the pec minor but again the angle of force is not as effective and bench press is a better activity for them as well.
So in summary to effectively work your traps pull straight up to your ear or behind your ear. Make certain though that you focus on the exercise for if you see some "eye candy" and turn to watch, your neck may be very very sore for a while.