Andrew Serrano – Positional Isometrics – Shoulder Rehab

I’m 5 weeks out from the Iron Rebel Classic in San Diego. Paul Oneid is handling my programming. Not much to report on squats and deads other than they’re going really well. I’m using my opening attempts for multiple sets and the movement is way cleaner and tighter than it’s ever been. I’ve been doing mobility and corrective work every night before bed, that in addition to eating more calories and figuring out that I shouldn’t take anti-histamines before bed. These three things were some of the biggest keys in how much better I feel this time around. my shoulder is another story, it’s been up and down and finally hit a low point last week.

I was working with 330 and although I got 4 sets of 5 my shoulder completely froze after that. I’d been having trouble figuring it out as the pain was something I’d felt before but all my go to correctives weren’t working, and the drills I’d gotten from my therapist seemed to be maxed out. I started experimenting with positional isometrics which had helped the hip and quad issues I was having last year. I had tried them a couple times before but I was contracting too hard and it the wrong sequence.

I did this for the serratus, rhomboid, pec, and my internal and external rotators but I’m just going to describe the serratus and you can extrapolate if you want to try it. The serratus originates on the 1st through 8th ribs and inserts on the medial border of the anterior side of the scapula, it sits between the shoulder blade and your ribs, and acts to pull the scapula forward on the ribcage. It’s a major stabilizer in pushing movements and is right where I’ve been having pain and lack of contraction. To implement positional isometrics, I basically took an elevated push up position on a bar in a squat rack with the bar at about shoulder height. With my arm locked out and keeping the shoulder somewhat packed without turning the lat all the way on I pushed the snap backward until I got tenderness. At that point I would contract at about 50% MVC (what I estimate) and just hold that for as long as I needed to until the tenderness went away which was usually a few minutes. I repeated this process until my scap was fully retracted and the repeated the process with stronger contractions until I was contracting maximally. I’ve probably repeated this process over 50 times in the last 4 days so it’s not some magic trick you can just once, you’re gonna have to experiment and put some work in but this stuff works.


Comp Squat 3×3 (570)

SSB Squat 3RM (480)

Seated Rows 4×10

Single Arm Bulgarian 3×12

Slow Eccentric GHR 3×12

Ab Wheel 4×12

Warm Up

Positional Isometrics for shoulders, hip flexors and adductors

5 min stairs

couch stretch

hurdle step

waking lunges

side lunges

box jumps

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Andrew Serrano

Andrew Serrano is a full time trainer, holds a B.S. in exercise science and has worked in almost every facet of the training industry. He is currently competing as a 198lb raw lifter, his meet PRs are 589/391/601. His training is guided by the 10/20/Life philosophy with a focus on sustainable injury free progression.
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