Have you ever wondered about the colorful set of bands hanging on the wall in the gym? That’s Crossover Symmetry, a system of resistance band exercises that help improve shoulder stability and function as well as posture and balance.
Crossover Symmetry is great for everyone…from healthy elite athletes to folks rehabbing from shoulder surgery, and everyone in between. Each session takes just 5-10 minutes and when done several days a week, will add up to significant improvements in shoulder function and health. If you haven’t already started using them, the sooner the better.
Here’s how to get started. The bands come with an instruction card, so all you have to do is follow-along. You’ll pick two bands–called heavy (H) and light (L) on the card. Some of the exercises will be done with the bands at eye level, while others will require unhooking the bands and moving them down to knee level.
Set up far enough away from the wall so there is tension on the bands when you extend them. The band hanging on the left should always be in your right hand and the band hanging on the right should always be in your left hand–this is why it’s called “Crossover” Symmetry. Stand up nice and tall–good posture is really important. If you find it too hard to do the movements without overextending your back, move to a lighter band.
From there, just follow the instructions on the card. There are three workouts you can do–Activation, Recovery, and Iron Scap. I personally do the Activation sequence everyday before I work out. It’s meant to “turn your shoulders on” and get them read to do work.
The Recovery sequence promotes increased blood flow, reduced inflammation and tendon health, and is meant to be done post-workout.
Iron Scap is a more rigorous program designed to improve strength and dynamic stability in your shoulders. It can be difficult to maintain the right posture through some of the exercises, so you should only advance to this once you are comfortable with the Activation and Recovery sequences.
I encourage you to get into the habit of making Crossover Symmetry part of your routine. Your shoulders will thank you. If you need any pointers, let a coach know and we’ll be glad to help!