In a world where many of us spend the much of our time hunched over a computer, a steering wheel, or handle bars, it is no wonder that there are so weak, turned-in shoulders. As yoga teachers and physical trainers my husband and I see people with the same issues over and over again: over developed neck and chest muscles and overly stretched out back and shoulder muscles due to sitting and being hunched over. And despite our knowledge, we ar not immune. Wether it be hours at the keyboard, on the bike, or with a paddle, we find ourselves with the same tendencies.
But over the last year we’ve been fortunate to test and train with Crossover Symmetry an “evidence based shoulder health and performance system” that is easy to use, set up and commit to.
My husband and I have been using it consistently for the past six months and with in the first two weeks we could feel a difference in our shoulders and posture. It has made an impact to our fellow teammates and those students that we train for endurance racing, yoga, and acrobatics – all in about the time it takes you to brush your teeth.
So what is it?
Crossover symmetry is a shoulder health and performance system that you execute on resistant cables. The kit comes with a training guide that has 5 different programs and an optional schedule showing you when to do what program. Each program lasts anywhere between 4- 6 minutes tops and is relatively straight forward and easy to remember. Crossover literature claims what keeps their users healthy and happy is the consistency and simplicity of their system. We agree.
The kit has some options.
When getting the kit, you have a few options. You can either go big and get all of the different resistance cables, or you can pick which weight suites you best: novice, athletic or elite. We went with the deluxe, so we could work through the full range. Next you pick an attachment option: wall, door mount or squat rack. We went with the wall mount, as it is in our home. But we have also traveled with it and have been able to put it up on a fence, on poles and on a playground. The set-up versatility is really nice.
With in an hour of receiving the package, we had installed the system and had done our first program on it. The different programs are simple and easy to follow – Activation, Activation +, strength, recovery and mobility. All of the programs are talked about in detail in the booklet and have supporting video tutorials online. Each of the exercises is broken down in a concise way. In the crossover system – form is the most important factor to making big gains in strength, shoulder health and function.
Suggested programs are also laid out – depending on your goals and level of athleticism. For example, we do the “activation” most days before our workout or activity of choice and do the strength program 3x a week after a big workout. It then comes with a little cheat sheet that is easy to hook to a wall.
After doing just the activation program everyday and the strength program 3 times for two weeks, my shoulders felt better than they ever have. All the tweaks and twinges were gone. And that is saying a lot, as we abuse our shoulders on the daily! Getting into the habit of using them also proved to be very easy as it literally only takes 5 min. It became part of our wake up ritual along with brushing our teeth.
7 months later:
Life is a bit more chaotic than before, as we now have a very lively and fun 7 month old in the mix with us. We have had to cut way back on some of our leisure recreation outings, but what we haven’t cut back on is physical therapy, self care and focused high intensity training. The Crossover Symmetry Performance System is still apart of our everyday lives as it is easy to use and fast! We have even taken it with us to our acrobatic trainings and endurance racing camps and incorporated it into the training. Note, that you don’t need to be a pro athlete to use this system, my step-dad who recently had shoulder surgery as well as our computer programing friends have found it helpful in finding better posture and strengthening their shoulders for everyday movements.
The individual package comes in at 195$ and includes one set of resistant bands and one attachment options (we recommend the “athletic” level for most acrobats/endurance racers, and “novice” if you are recovering from injury). If you want an extra set of resistant options (I recommend this as you get stronger or if you get injured) they cost an extra 40$. If you are an athlete, someone who uses their shoulders a lot or are fresh off of shoulder surgery and are looking to safely gain strength and mobility back, the investment is well worth it. The only kicker is that you have to want it. Commit to using it most days, and you will see results.