The Biggest Weakness We See & How To Fix It: Pt. 1

It will come as no surprise to hear that the biggest weakness we see in young athlete’s today stems from rounded shoulders. This is caused by tight chests and weak backs, often brought on by the time we spent hunched over a laptop or our phones

Poor posture, mobility, and movement is something all too common within the youths of today. The amount of sedentary time spent sitting (not their fault, as it’s our default position at school), and spent hunched over our phones and laptops is causing problems that need to be addressed. We often don’t know how great our bodies should feel and perform, which is a shame.

And unfortunately, one of the biggest causes of injuries today stems from muscular imbalances. During our experience working with young athletes and adolescents, there are two weakness we see far more abundantly than others, the first of which is rounded shoulders. This is often caused by a chest that is tight, and an upper back (think traps, rhomboids, lats) that's weak, due to the time spent "switched off”, which pulls the shoulders forward into their rounded position

Funnily enough, this isn’t helped by everyone’s fascination with growing their anterior “mirror muscles”, tightening the chest even more. Some try to rectify this by stretching the chest, but this provides little improvement

The improvement comes by moving the focus from the anterior to the posterior, by positioning the shoulders in great positions, and then strengthening the muscles whilst in this position. If you ever set foot in Academy HQ, or attend one of our workshops, there’s one sentence you’ll hear more than anything else…

but that’s our little secret

It’s centered around positioning the scap’s and shoulders where they’re most stable and efficient. And when they're in this position, we can then strengthen the muscles that hold them here by performing rowing and vertical pulling movements

It’s not a quick fix though, which turns many people off. As, if you look at what you’ve done to get yourself into this rounded position, all the hours of having your back “switched off” - it’s going to take that and more to rectify it. That’s why it is recommended that you “pull" twice as much as you “push”. So if you’re horizontal pressing twice a week, horizontal row four times… the same goes for vertical

Try and keep the rep ranges the same, if not more, but don’t stress too much about this at the beginning - just focus on maintaining this great position and getting the “work” done 

It’s simple. And that’s honestly how we address the biggest weakness we see in adolescents and young athletes

1) Shoulders into great positions
2) Strengthen them whilst there
3) Perform more volume on the posterior than you do the anterior

TrainingNick Maier