"Locking" the bottom shoulder during a getup's roll to elbow?

Discussion in 'Kettlebell' started by Smile-n-Nod, Jun 19, 2017.

  1. Smile-n-Nod

    Smile-n-Nod Strong Member of the Forum

    I have a question about the roll-to-elbow phase of the getup:

    When I roll onto my elbow, should I lock the bottom shoulder so it is rigid, or is it okay for the bottom shoulder to flex a little so the upper shoulder comes off the ground a little before the bottom one? The former hurts my left trapezius when I try to roll onto the left elbow, but the latter feels a lot better to me.
    Adam B likes this.
  2. Kettlebelephant

    Kettlebelephant Strong, Powerful Member of the Forum

    I don't know what you mean with "flex the bottom shoulder a little", but the upper shoulder (the arm with the weight) should come of the ground earlier. It's a roll to the side and not a sit-up. In a roll one shoulder naturally comes of the ground before the other, while they do it simultaneously during a sit-up motion.
    Look at @Pavel Macek here (@1:40):
  3. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Forum Administrator Staff Member Senior Instructor

    @Smile-n-Nod, a video would be helpful here.

    You will find some people keep the down shoulder on the ground longer than others, and also that this may vary with the weight you're using.

  4. Smile-n-Nod

    Smile-n-Nod Strong Member of the Forum

    By "flex", I just mean that the person rolling onto the elbow keeps both the elbow and the bottom shoulder in contact with the ground momentarily when the working shoulder first comes off the ground; this only happens if the bottom shoulder flexes or bends a little. If the bottom shoulder is rigid, then both shoulders would have to come off the ground at the same time.
  5. North Coast Miller

    North Coast Miller Strong Member of the Forum

    I believe that is within spec. That's also how I do them.
  6. Smile-n-Nod

    Smile-n-Nod Strong Member of the Forum

    Yeah, I wasn't sure if the idea of "rolling" described rolling onto the elbow (with a rigid shoulder) or rolling onto the shoulder first and then rolling onto the elbow. I've seen it done both ways in online videos, but now I realize that some of the StringFirst videos (not all) make it clear the the the rolling is done first onto the shoulder and then onto the elbow.

    Part of my confusion I think results from imprecision in the English language (and probably all human languages). As an engineer, I've learned that the general population doesn't necessarily use certain terms in the same way that engineers do, and vice versa. Neither group is wrong, it's just that there is room for misinterpretation sometimes, and it's helpful to ask questions sometimes when understanding is important.
  7. Matts

    Matts Helping Make Others Stronger

    @Smile-n-Nod assuming you're precise in using the term "locking," does that mean your shoulder is not "packed"? I'm wondering, because packing the shoulder heavily involves the lats, while you may be having a problem with overly involving the traps to "lock" the shoulder. that may also be a problem in your later post about the angle of the arm.
    Anna C likes this.
  8. Smile-n-Nod

    Smile-n-Nod Strong Member of the Forum

    I'm not using the word "locking" in any technical sense. I meant only that the upper arm doesn't move relative to the torso.
  9. offwidth

    offwidth Strong, Powerful, Explosively Athletic Member of the Forum

    Post video...
    Also I think Steve is right in saying it probably depends a bit upon the weight being used.
  10. Matts

    Matts Helping Make Others Stronger

    the goal isn't to keep your upper arm motionless relative to the torso, but to keep your shoulder packed. lots of people with upper cross syndrome and poor mechanics use traps as primary shoulder stabilizer, which causes pain in shoulder and traps when loaded, and eventually impingement or worse.
  11. Smile-n-Nod

    Smile-n-Nod Strong Member of the Forum

    Interestingly, I've found that my left trapezius hurts a little more when I keep my left shoulder packed (I've read several descriptions online by StrongFirst folks about keeping shoulders packed, so I'm pretty sure I'm doing it correctly.) Maybe I'm just too inflexible or there's something weird about my physiology.
  12. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Forum Administrator Staff Member Senior Instructor

    @Smile-n-Nod, we've asked several times for a video - without it, we're all guessing, including you.

  13. Smile-n-Nod

    Smile-n-Nod Strong Member of the Forum

    Well, I haven't done get-ups for six weeks, because of the sharp stabbing pain in my left trapezius. I've been waiting for it to heal.

    Also, in late February, I went to a free kettlebell class at a local fitness center, owned and taught by an SFG2. I was the only person in the class, so I essentially had a solo lesson. He taught me about two-handed swings and getups. He said my getups looked good, so I've not been too concerned about my overall technique. I've just been trying to understand the problem with the pain in my left trapezius, which seems more like a medical issue than somethingthat a fitness instructor is trained to deal wIth (no disrespect intended). When the pain is gone and I start doing getups again, I'll post a video.
  14. offwidth

    offwidth Strong, Powerful, Explosively Athletic Member of the Forum

    Perhaps seeking a medical opinion might be a course of action then...
    Steve Freides likes this.
  15. Brett Jones

    Brett Jones Director of Education, Chief of SFG Staff Member Master Instructor

    In the other thread on this I did recommend a referral to a health care provider.
    If this has been going on for 6 weeks I think that is the right step
  16. guardian7

    guardian7 Triple-Digit Post Count

    I had problems with this step as well. In my SFG course, the instructor stressed pushing off the heel which kind of sorts things out and takes pressure off the elbow and lifts the shoulder naturally if you are properly braced. A lot of people including me have a situp pattern ingrained and try to muscle through the first couple of steps with too much ab strength. Experiment with your weight distribution between your opposite heal and your hand/elbow. The other thing to check is how straight your spine is. Tall neck as they say. If you are hunched over your elbow, then you are adding pressure. I am not an expert here, but I am working on rebuilding these exact steps, so I have been thinking about it and I thought I would post. The other SFG saying I like is imaging you are holding 100 pounds in this position. As an engineer yourself, what do you think is the most structurally sound position? That is the answer.

    Video rules, as pointed out.
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2017
    Jan and Steve Freides like this.
  17. offwidth

    offwidth Strong, Powerful, Explosively Athletic Member of the Forum

    Good luck with that...:)
    TravisS likes this.

Share This Page