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View Full Version : Stiff shoulder and Compression baselayers?



Paladin2019
-27th October 2010, 21:09
I currently wear underarmour compression shorts under my kit and find that they do help somewhat in reducing stiffness and soreness that I used to experience after fencing.

However, my question is about upper-body compression layers and problems suffered at the time of a fencing session. Sometimes during bouts and especially during coaching I tend to get a stiff, sore sword arm/shoulder and have to rest it before continuing. I wear a UA loose fit t-shirt under my jacket and I'm wondering if wearing compression gear on top would help improve the problem.

I don't want to invest in a Michelin Man t-shirt if it's not going to make a noticeable difference!

Also are there any exercises I could try to improve my situation and avoid spending money?

cesh_fencing
-28th October 2010, 08:43
Sometimes during bouts and especially during coaching I tend to get a stiff, sore sword arm/shoulder and have to rest it before continuing.

This is the classic 'gripping your handle to death' discription to me.

If you are able to relax your hand when fencing the symtoms will probably dissapear.

hokers
-28th October 2010, 08:45
If I had a pound for every time a coach had said "relax your shoulder" to me...

Cyrano5
-28th October 2010, 14:25
Easier said than done... however my coach once said to me relax your head and everything actually relaxed. Probably a perception thing but a handy 'trick' which worked for me.

aao
-28th October 2010, 14:54
Ok I'm in the industry but a little hazy on some of the claims, but basically Compression gear is primarily aimed at recovering from doing sports rather than being supportive during sports. I have heard many reports of people saying that using the compression garments after doing exercise has sped up their recovery times and reduced aches and pains, and I know alot of top athletes wear them as part of their recovery routine.
While doing sports however most people wear baselayers, which are designed to regulate body temperature and wick moisture away from the body, these do work well with most fencing jackets and help keep you cool during matches. The only effect they would have on reducing aches though would be from the fact that after your match you would be drier and there for less prone to stiffining up.
I'd go with Cesh and others here, relax your grip and ensure that I warmed up well prior to fencing and warmed done equally well.

Jon Willis
-28th October 2010, 15:21
I love lycra

Paladin2019
-29th October 2010, 17:59
Thanks for the input folks. I tried that 'relax your head' thing and it does seem to have an effect all over!

I'll try to relax my grip and make more of an effort with warmups/warmdowns in future. Good advice all round!

pinkelephant
-29th October 2010, 18:58
I love lycra

It's official. Jon suffers from Lycraphilia.

bafco
-30th October 2010, 07:28
Thanks for the input folks. I tried that 'relax your head' thing and it does seem to have an effect all over!


You can get your coach to help on this. Come on guard and get him to grip the forte of your blade and use it to move your arm forward and back. You should not assist him in any way, just let the arm relax. He should be able to move your arm without any effort.

S&C Guy
-30th October 2010, 08:11
Thanks for the input folks. I tried that 'relax your head' thing and it does seem to have an effect all over!

I'll try to relax my grip and make more of an effort with warmups/warmdowns in future. Good advice all round!

Hey,

Although i think Jon Willis hit the nail on with his love for lycra i think there are a few other things to help with this issue.

-the advice on relaxing from the head down and easing off on the grip are bang on. if you grip too hard that is going to increase fatigue in muscles right up the chain, especially the shoulder girdle.

-between bouts or when possible be sure to put your arm in a different position to how your holding your blade. Get some movement in the joint, basic rotation should go a long way to relaxing it.

-finally you need to stretch the upper trap (the band of muscle from your neck to your shoulder) by reaching one hand down your body as far as possible and tilting your head away from it. As well as activating the lower and mid traps (same muscle as the upper trap, but due to the orientation of the fibres it helps pull the shoulder girdle into a 'healthier' position) by performing scapular retractions. Rather than describe these i suggest watching the Performance Preperation video on the National Academy page on British Fencing. The main point to consider though is to pull the shoulder back and down, away from your ear. These two drills performed as often as possible should help allieviate your problems.


Base layers such as Skins can help with recovery after training due to muscle soreness but are unlikely to help during training. In fact they are more likely to weaken muscles in the shoulder girdle by providing false support, so making the problem worse should you train without them on!

Good luck,

Rhys I

Paladin2019
-31st October 2010, 10:22
Rather than describe these i suggest watching the Performance Preperation video on the National Academy page on British Fencing.

Some really useful stuff on that page, thanks. Wish I'd known about it sooner!