Never Do This Exercise if You Want Healthy Shoulders, Especially If You Are A Tennis Player

A very intelligent man who has been widely regarded in the health, fitness and performance industry as a got to “guru” recently said at a national conference on tennis performance and conditioning that upright rows were one of the staple exercises tennis players should be performing on a regular basis.

My jaw drops and blood boils when I hear things like this. With; poor posture, muscular imbalances, jacked up levator scapulae and weak scapular stabilizers and rotator cuffs on 99% of the tennis players I see walk in the door, this is one of the worst bits of advice I can imagine.

Can anyone say impingement? This exercise is begging for repetitive trauma to the supraspinatus tendon of the rotator cuff. With the shoulder abducted to @90 degrees the humerus should internally rotate to 70 degrees passively. Most players I measure have a condition know as Glenohumeral Internal Rotation Deficit Disorder(GIRD). They measure an average of 30 degrees of internal rotation which leaves s deficit of 40 degrees. This puts tremendous strain on the Ulnar Collateral Ligament and can also lead to symptoms such as anterior or posterior shoulder pain and head aches.

SO??? So if most tennis players are missing most of their shoulder internal rotation, why force them into an exercise that requires internal rotation???

Anyone? Bueller?? Bueller? Upright rows are a high risk exercise that can easily be replaced with several alternatives.

I am sorry good Doctor, but I have to disagree with this recommendation vehemently. I have seen to many injured kids sulking around the gym and tennis courts because they were suffering from repetitive stress injuries from doing too much, too fast too wrong.

Save your tennis players and shoulders today.

Thank you for reading.

Eric Beard

Corrective Exercise Specialist

Athletic Performance Enhancement Specialist

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