Wednesday, November 7, 2007


Forward shoulder raise, low position
Side shoulder raise, middle position
Front shoulder raise, high position

A couple of months ago, I was standing up on a ladder while working on my house. Suddenly, the ladder began to fall and, in desperation, I maneuvered my body in such as way so as to prevent myself from severe injury. Well, I survived, but my shoulder took the brunt of the accident (partial dislocation) and I thought I might have even torn my rotator cuff. For a good month, I experimented with the proper solution to bring it back to 100%; and this is what I discovered: Isometrics were the best prescription.

I hope the above photos are adequate illustration. I got the exercises from two books by John E. Peterson, Pushing Yourself to Power and Isometric Power Revolution, both by Bronze Bow Publishing. Both are treasure troves of useful exercises, with dozens of exercises that you can perform with self-resistance, and no equipment whatsoever!

The exercises are VERY effective!

Isometrics can be performed either at the beginning of a movement(Low position), the middle position, or near the completion, or High position of any movement.

In each exercise, one hand is RESISTING the motion of the "working" arm, resulting in the working hand being rendered immovable by the opposing hand.
When, gradually, the working hand is stopped entirely in its motion, the muscles (in this case, of the shoulder) should be gradually forced to work AS HARD AS POSSIBLE
for perhaps 7-12 seconds.

As you PRESS against the resisting hand, don't hold your breath! Either let your breath out in a long "SSSssss" sound, or else "pant", as I do- holding your breath could cause you to pass out!

(That's how hard you want to work- push quite hard- about 80% of what your all-out effort would be is safe).

What the above photos illustrate is the 3 positions, in 3 different resistant movements:

Pushing forward position
To the side
To the back

To do each one, you would--

PULL to the side, low, medium, and high positions
PULL to the rear, all three positions
Push to the front all three

To get better illustrations of these, and many, many other exercises, I recommend you purchase John e. Peterson's excellent books, as mentioned above- they are literally the Rosetta Stone of Vintage Exercise and Fitness!!

John takes the wisdom of previous generations and even eras, and makes it ring true in our own time!

Things, ideas, and fashions come and go... but the truth of ideas is eternal.

We are dealing here with eternal truths of exercise and fitness!

Check it out: www.