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One for the physicists

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 Nik 24 Jun 2020

Over lockdown I've been doing some upper body core training using a hangboard for pull ups/lock offs etc.

I've previously had shoulder surgery and was finding that however careful or controlled I was, I was getting a weird niggling feeling in my right shoulder at the very start of the down motion.

I thought I would try reducing weight and have a fairly standard pulley system set up - there is a rope from my harness which goes up to a pulley and then down to some weights - I started by reducing weight by 15kg and have slowly lowered that to 5kg - I have found that this completely stops any pain in my shoulder.

So my question is, if I lost 5kg in body weight, would that have the same effect and 'feel' as using the pulley system?

Thanks!

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 duchessofmalfi 24 Jun 2020
In reply to Nik:

This isn't one for physicists - its one for physios.

(physics answer) The forces would scale the same way and in that sense it would "feel" the same but this is way to simplistic for reality.

The more realistic answer is "it depends on a lot of things" including how you lost the weight - if you lose the weight from none involved parts of the body then it will "feel" the same (ie if you simply cut your feet off the hangs without feet would feel the same as the hangs with -5Kg caveat the effective centres of mass might be slightly different ), however, if you diet to lose weight it depends on whether you've got and easy 5Kg of blubber to lose without changing your upper body. 

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 Nik 24 Jun 2020
In reply to duchessofmalfi:

I wouldn't say an easy 5kg but it wouldn't do me any harm!

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 tlouth7 24 Jun 2020
In reply to Nik:

Most people rotate their body forward when hanging from their (bent) arms. This engages different muscles from hanging vertically. Having an upwards pull from the front of your harness is likely to make this rotation easier, reducing the stress on your core and maybe shoulders.

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 Nik 24 Jun 2020
In reply to tlouth7:

That would make a lot of sense, its the initial movement that was causing me problems, more when lowering than lifting, but I wonder if it just provides some reduction in stress at that stage.

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In reply to Nik:

Hi Nik,

if you’ve got 5kg up to a pulley and down to your harness, there will be losses in the system depending on how good quality pulley you’re using. Unless it’s got really good bearings and a reasonably large diameter pulley, then you’ll be getting less than 5kg assistance, which is good news if it’s still reducing shoulder pain. I’ve lost 6kg over the last few months as I’m getting old and want to reduce the loading on my joints, running and climbing. Apart from the benefit to joint pain reduction, I’m managing problems I couldn’t do before, so it’s a win-win. 

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 Sprucedgoose 25 Jun 2020
In reply to Nik:

Shoulder pain often (not always) relates to the efficacy of the stabilizing muscles. Don't forget the importance of these in your plan. Losing 5kg and training on a pulley (which produces nothing like the dynamic and multi directional stresses on your shoulders that real climbing does) may not be the full solution. As above - it's a physio you need (worked for me!)    

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 Nik 26 Jun 2020
In reply to Sprucedgoose:

I think you are absolutely right about the physio, was intending to see one before Covid happened. I've had extensive physio before to re-stabilise and have a pretty good understanding of setting the shoulder blade before movement etc but not sure if it is still moving correctly.

I'm also doing a lot of shoulder specific resistance band work to try and keep it stable and happy - sadly I think its just something that I will have to manage.

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