Soccer Training: Strength & Injury Prevention
Partial ROM can get a bad rap in the training community. However, two main reasons partial ROM may be a good idea are to (1) teach certain movements when there a lot of clients (or beginners) or (2) someone who presents with pain in the bottom range of a particular lift.
What comes to mind first??
Many athletes, particular overhead ones tend to have anterior instability of the shoulder. Shoulder instability could be due to the nature of the sport (throwing in particular), weak scapular stability, poor posture, shoulder impingement symptoms, or even an unawareness of how to do the lift properly. DB Floor Press or board pressing can be a great substitute because the limited range of motion prevents the end range of shoulder extension (which is where the pain usually kicks in). Besides the safety factor, these two types of pressing can encourage the eccentric portion of the lift because the athlete knows that coming down fast on the floor will not feel good on the elbows!
Since push ups are a closed chain exercises (the scapula moves freely on the ribcage), I tend to prefer them for beginners and most of our soccer athletes who may present with shoulder and/or core stability weakness. One way to use partial ROM with this exercise is to put a 10lb plate on the floor directly underneath the chest to ensure a pain-free depth and in order to be consistent with the eccentric portion of the movement. Sometimes full ROM (chest to floor) may become a bit problematic due to the poor core control or excessive thoracic kyphosis.
The picture above in just one illustration of a few weak pelvis/core control (hip sag, forward head posture) and can be one major reason why we it can aggravate a shoulder even if it is a closed-chain shoulder friendly exercise. Remember, excessive kyphosis (rounded upper back) + poor core control = anteriorly tilted scapula = poor inefficient push up form.
Next post will look at a few more considerations with partial range of motion for the lower body