My last semester of college, I manipulated my schedule so I only had class on Tuesdays and Thursdays. On the other days, I surfed all day. There was nothing I didn't like about it. My shoulders have never forgiven me, though. I've seen a few physical therapists about my rotator cuff inflammation issues. I am always enthusiastic as I sit in their offices learning about all the exercises I can do to help myself recover. But when I get home, I nearly never do them. Or at least, I do them until I feel better and then I am happy to cut them out of my routine. But that wasn't working for me. I don't want to feel old. I don't want to watch. I don't want to feel like I've already given the ocean my stronger years. I don't want the money I spent on the physical therapy to be wasted. And so, I do the exercises. They are not nearly as fun as surfing, or most other things, but they help me sleep at night. I thought I would share one with you in case you might need it.
Strengthening your trapezius: Sets: 3 \\ Repetition: 5-12 \\ Hold: 3 seconds
Your trapezius is located in the upper and middle back (I had to google it. None of those Tuesday/Thursday classes from senior year were in anatomy). This is the muscle you work when your shoulders are in use. It's important to strengthen this muscle so you can put it to work while paddling instead of straining the ball and socket joint.
1. Lie on your stomach, face down with your arms overhead, elbows bent and your thumbs pointing up.
2. Lift your elbows and hands off the floor while pulling your shoulder blades together.
3. Let your elbows down and repeat.
Place a towel roll under your forehead to keep your face off the floor.
-photos by: Scott DeMint Photography