Rehab Secret Found In Calf Machine Shoulder Shrugs!

It's great for rehab and is very useful for those who have problems with grip during barbell or dumbbell movements. Take a step back and try calf machine shoulder shrugs today. Learn more.
Article Summary:
  • Calf machine should shrugs completely isolate the upper trapezius.
  • It's important to maintain proper form and posture for this exercise.
  • Go as high as you can at the top, and get a good stretch at the bottom.

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    Rehab Secret Found In Calf Machine Shoulder Shrugs!

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    Unfortunately, this exercise isn't used much. In fact, the name itself causes people to shrug! It's great for rehab as it completely isolates the upper trapezius fibers without involving the arms.

    For those of you who have problems with grip during conventional barbell or dumbbell movements (i.e. you can't hold on any longer because your forearms feel like they're on fire) and/or find your elbows constantly bending and absorbing some of the load, take a step back and try this exercise on for size. This will help focus your concentration on your shoulders - the proximal joint - and not your arms.

    This Will Help Focus Your Concentration On Your Shoulders And Not Your Arms.
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    This Will Help Focus Your Concentration
    On Your Shoulders And Not Your Arms.

    Also, the machine restricts you to one plane of motion-straight up and straight down. It won't allow you to waste time and energy by rolling your shoulders. Remember, gravity acts vertically, not horizontally.

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    Performing The Exercise
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    To do this movement, position yourself underneath the pad of a standing calf machine as if you are about to do a set for your calves. Raise your shoulders as high as you can and pause at the top. Then control the pads as they lower-don't just drop the weight down! Three sets of 10-12 reps with a one-minute rest interval should do the trick.

    Calf-Machine Shoulder Shrug
    Calf-Machine Shoulder Shrug
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    Calf-Machine Shoulder Shrug
    Click Here For A Video Demonstration Of Calf-Machine Shoulder Shrug.

    It's very important to maintain proper form and perfect posture for this exercise, so keep your abdominals braced with a neutral spine to dissipate some of the weight from your back and onto your slightly bent legs. Also, keep the chest up and head straight - not poked forward!

    Aim for full range of motion with your shoulders. Go as high as you can at the top, and get a good stretch at the bottom. Visualize Q-tips attached to your shoulders on an angle, and then try to poke out your eardrums.

    When you've finished this and any other exercise that causes spinal compression, i.e. squats or military presses, try hanging on a chin-up bar for a while at the end of your workout. This will help increase the intervertebral space of your spine and instantly add a foot to your height. Caught your attention? Okay, maybe not a foot, but it'll help.

    RELATED VIDEO: Scivation Tri-Phase Training
    Scivation Tri-Phase Training, Episode #1: Phase 1 (Volume), Day 1 - Back & Traps Workout!

    In this first episode, watch and learn as Scivation's Marc Lobiner and Derek Charlesbois explain Tri-Phase Training, doing a Back and Traps volume workout on Day One!
    Watch More From This Series Here.

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    Conclusion
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    As Charles Poliquin has mentioned in the past, shrugs will also help to realign the position of the C5/C6 vertebrae, thus improving your arm strength as the upper traps stabilize the scapula when curling.

    The Vertebral Column.
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    The Vertebral Column.

    Give this exercise a shot for at least three weeks, and then reassess your curling poundage. If all goes well, you should also be able to curl more weight.

    So now, when people ask you about calf machine shoulder shrugs, you can let them know what they are by shrugging your shoulders in the classic "I dunno" fashion.

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    About The Author:

    John Paul Catanzaro, B.Sc., C.K., C.E.P., is a Certified Kinesiologist and Certified Exercise Physiologist with a Specialized Honours Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology and Health Science. He owns and operates a private gym in Richmond Hill, Ontario providing training and nutritional consulting services. For additional information, visit his website at www.BodyEssence.ca or call 905-780-9908.

    Check out John Paul's DVD, Warm-Up to Strength Training, for some powerful techniques to increase strength and improve performance. It has received a thumbs-up from many experts including Drs. Eric Serrano, Mark Lindsay, and Ken Kinakin as well as Olympic strength coach, Charles Poliquin. Visit www.StrengthWarmUp.com for more information.

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