I have only one word to describe my visit to Cressey Performance yesterday: badass.  A good friend of my contacted Pete Dupuis and asked if we would be able to just hang out for part of the day and watch some of the training that goes on there.  Just the energy after walking through the doors  was just at a different level.

We met Pete at the door when we arrived and were cordially greeted and brought into the facility.  You would have thought that we’d known eachother for years and the same was true for the rest of the staff.  Tony came by to say whats up and introduce himself (drinking what appeared to be dark green pond water, not sure what it was) as did Eric himself.

Eric specializes in working with major league baseball players which make up 80-85% of the clientelle at CP.  Seeing guys from the Rockies, Dodgers, Rays, and Sox all training was badass all on it’s own.  I can’t speak highly enough about my first impression of Eric as he came right over to shoot the shit and talk a little shop despite being extremely busy.  One of the nicest and most intelligent guys I have ever met.

Being a competitive powerlifter himself (with a 650lb competition deadlift at 175lbs.), Eric gave me a few pointers on my upcoming meet.  Words of wisdom: take the two weeks prior to competition off completely and aim for numbers to hit all three lifts.

Overall the entire experience was very inspiring and bromantic.  There is nothing like watching athletes going in and getting right to business training.

In honor of Eric’s shoulder expertise I just wanted to share some of the shoulder and t-spine mobility exercises that he uses with his athletes.

If this is what athletes do to train and prevent injury, imagine what good it can do for your shoulders.  Yes, I’m talking to you guy who benches 3 times a week and only goes down halfway.  I’m talking to you too guy who sits at a desk all day whose shoulders are rounded forward with internal rotation and are protracted.

Here is a soft tissue technique to help relieve tight fascia and allow more mobility in your shoulder.  Tightness is caused by years of misuse and bad habits.  For example doing bench press and/or biceps curls everytime you walk into the gym.  And if you must curl, please do not do so at the squat rack.  Thank you.

SMR for the Pec

Once you have the fascia a little loosened up, the next step is to get some range of motion by mobilizing the tight joint.  Since most people are tight in the pecs, that is where we will start.  First is an easy exercise that I like to do with a foam roller to mobilize the shoulder and stretch the pec.  The next exercise helps mobilize the glenohumeral joint.

Pec Mobilization

Side Lying Extension-Rotation

The next few exercises are directed towards providing mobility to your thoracic spine.  Without getting too much into detail so I don’t lose you, your t-spine directly affects your shoulder health.  As a strength coach, it is one of the first places I look when I see a new client or athlete with shoulder pain or dysfunction.

T-Spine Dips

Quadruped T-Spine Rotation

Shoulder Extension with T-Spine Rotation

Here are a few shoulder exercises that I use for warm-up with my clients.  These are great for mobility and muscle activation before you train or just to help maintain rotator cuff mobility and stability.

No Money Drill

Wall Slides

Well there you have it, some sexy ass shoulder prehab to keep your shoulders healthy and you performing at your best.  Stay classy Boston.

Written by Steve