Rodeo takes its toll on the athlete; proper maintenance keeps the scores coming. [Photo: 4 Bar C Photography]
Rodeo athletes possess an unwavering spirit, resilience, and a deep love for their sport. However, the rigorous demands of rodeo events can take a toll on their bodies, especially their shoulders. Shoulder pain is a common complaint among rodeo athletes due to the repetitive motions and intense physical activity involved. In this article, we will explore some basic exercises and provide valuable education on how rodeo athletes can alleviate shoulder pain and prevent future injuries.
Understanding Shoulder Pain:
Before diving into the exercises, it is essential to understand the common causes of shoulder pain in rodeo athletes. The repetitive nature of rodeo events such as roping, wrestling, and riding can lead to overuse injuries, strain, or inflammation of the shoulder joint and surrounding musculature. Additionally, poor posture, inadequate warm-up, and lack of strength and flexibility can contribute to shoulder pain.
Exercise Regimen for Shoulder Pain:
Warm-up and Stretching:
Before engaging in any roping activities, it is crucial to warm up your shoulders and stretch properly. Start with light aerobic exercises like jumping jacks or jogging in place to increase blood flow to your muscles. Follow it up with shoulder stretches such as shoulder circles, cross-body arm stretches, and arm swings to improve flexibility.
Rotator Cuff Strengthening:
Strong rotator cuff muscles provide stability and support to the shoulder joint, helping to prevent injuries. Incorporate the following exercises into your routine:
External Rotations: Use a resistance band or light dumbbell, hold your elbow at a 90-degree angle, and rotate your forearm away from your body.(can be done standing or laying on side)
Internal Rotations: Similar to external rotations, but rotate your forearm inward towards your abdomen.
Prone Y’s and Ts: Lie face down on a flat surface, extend your arms overhead into a “Y” position, and lift your arms and chest off the ground. Focus on squeezing your shoulder blades together. Perform the same motion with arms out in a “T” position.
Shoulder Strengthening Exercises:
Building overall shoulder strength can help improve endurance and prevent fatigue-related injuries. Consider incorporating the following exercises into your routine:
Shoulder Presses: Stand or sit with dumbbells or resistance bands, hold them at shoulder height, and press them overhead.
Front Raises: Using a dumbbell or band in each hand, palms facing downward. Lift your arms forward until they are parallel to the ground.
Push-Ups: Perform regular or modified push-ups to strengthen the muscles in your chest, shoulders, and arms.
Tips for Pain Reduction and Prevention:
Proper Technique and Form: Ensure that you are using proper technique and form during rodeo events. Seek guidance from experienced coaches or trainers to ensure you are executing movements correctly and minimizing unnecessary stress on your shoulders.
Regular Rest and Recovery: Allow your shoulder muscles time to recover and repair by incorporating rest days into your training schedule. Overtraining can lead to overuse injuries, so listen to your body and take breaks when needed.
Gradual Progression: Avoid sudden increases in intensity or frequency of training. Gradually increase the duration and difficulty of your training sessions to allow your body to adapt and avoid overloading your shoulders.
Cross-Training and Conditioning: Engage in exercises that strengthen your core, back, and overall body conditioning. A well-rounded fitness routine will improve your overall performance and reduce the strain on your shoulders.
As a rodeo athlete, it is essential to prioritize your shoulder health and take proactive measures to mitigate shoulder pain. By incorporating these exercises and tips into your routine, you can strengthen your shoulders, improve flexibility, and reduce the risk of injuries. Remember to consult with a healthcare professional or a physical therapist if you experience persistent or severe shoulder pain. Stay committed to your well-being and continue to pursue your passion!
Jacob Retzer grew up in the mountains outside of Albuquerque, New Mexico. He received a bachelors degree in Biology and Psychology from the University of New Mexico and a doctorate in Physical Therapy at the University of Mary in Bismarck, North Dakota.
After completing his doctoral education, he and his family moved to rural Montana, where he was able to practice and hone my skills as a therapist working with individuals across the lifespan. He worked with outdoor athletes (hunters, hikers, runners, and snowmobilers), weekend warriors, crossfitters, gymnasts, high school athletes, and those who wanted to get back to daily activities without restriction.
After four years they moved back to Bismarck, where he opened his clinic to provide individuals with the highest level of one on one care helping them to take control of their health. His goal is to help patients alleviate pain, increase performance and assist them in becoming the best version of themselves through increased knowledge in various areas of patient care including strength and conditioning, manual therapy, dry needling and pain science.
When not in the clinic, he enjoys being outdoors with his wife and two children camping, hiking, and hunting. He also enjoys participating in Crossfit and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.