First off, I want to state that I am not a physical therapist, nor am I any sort of medical or healthcare professional at all. I’m not trying to write this review from that perspective, because then I’d be lying. I’m just a CrossFit coach, that’s spent the majority of his life doing some kind of physical activity. Well enough so that people will listen to what I have to say; I’ve seen enough people to diagnose whats wrong with the way they move, if any. I’m very much content with leaving the doctoring, to real doctors.
That being said, I think I know my body well enough to know when I’m hurt. I just had a spell of some kind of shoulder injury where I would get a shooting pain down the front deltoid to my bicep area. Me being the Crossfitter that I am, decided to not bother getting it checked out, but luckily I have a PT at my gym that I can talk to when shit hits the fan. My shoulder was not getting better, shit was starting to hit the fan, I couldn’t even hold a front rack without pain in my shoulder. He said that I might have a tear in my supraspinatus/rotator cuff, possibly just bicep tendonits. Once again, being the Crossfitter that I am, I didn’t go get an MRI done or anything (I highly recommend that you do if there’s something wrong though).
I’ve known about Crossover Symmetry for a long time; I remember first seeing it back at the games in 2013 and not thinking much of it. “Get scap jacked”, I didn’t really know what it was used for besides some kind of shoulder mobility. A friend who just dislocated his shoulder pointed it out to me, because that’s what he was using for his rehab. I decided to give it a shot seeing as how I didn’t want to see a doctor; worst comes to worst I could just use it at the gym for warm-ups. Crossover Symmetry comes in all sorts of different flavors, from wall mounted solutions, to affiliate use packages that you attach to your rig, to portable ones that you can just attach to any doorway. Whatever your discipline, there’s a set-up with your name on it. Of course mine being CrossFit, the Box Rack pack was the way to go for me. Included in this package are: 4 pairs of color coded bands varying in resistance (7lb, 10lb, 15lb, and 25lb), 4 nylon attachments to loop onto your rig posts (any 4′ section will do), carabiners, a handy “cheat sheet” that you can hang from the rig to reference when you’re going through the program, and an instructional DVD. Setup is pretty much straight forward, loop the attachments at eye and knee level, connect the cords to the master carabiner, and read the cheat sheet. The best part about the Crossover Symmetry system is that it’s basically fool-proof, anyone can do it without screwing it up.
The basic premise of the Crossover Symmetry system is injury rehabilitation and prevention. You have an activation phase done before workouts, a recovery phase for after, a plyometric phase for rehab and “Iron Scap” for strengthening your scapular stabilizers. Each phase is clearly laid out to you on the cheat sheet so you know exactly what you should be doing, how long, and what bands to use. After just one use, I could not believe how incredibly warmed up my shoulders felt; it’s like I had been warming up wrong my whole life. Just doing PVC pass through’s and banded pull-apart’s will never be the same. I now include the activation phase in my warm-ups, overhead movements or not. Even better is how I feel the next day after doing the recovery phase post workout. It’s basically the same thing as the activation phase but focuses on eccentric movements. I’ll pay the next day if I don’t do this, but when I’m good and remember to hit the Crossover Symmetry before I go home, I’ll wake up the next day without any kind of shoulder pain. The pain isn’t gone, but I’ve gone from not being able to do PVC pass through’s to now being able to. Strict pressing causes little to no pain and holding a front rack is just fine for me.
As I get older, recovery just isn’t what it was, even from just a few years ago. There’s a huge difference from being in your late twenties to early thirties; still young by most standards but the age is creeping up on me. We all train to be a better version of ourselves, injury prehab should be at the top of the list. There’s no point in training if you’re hurting yourself all the time, which keeps you from doing what you love. I see people always rolling out, stretching their legs, but no ones ever doing anything for their shoulders. The CS Box Rack pack isn’t cheap, a single station runs for $330, but your shoulder health is worth the price. Remember, injuries aren’t cheap either. There’s a discount if you purchase multiple stations as well. If you’re an athlete that does repetitive overhead movements, you need one of these. Needless to say, if you’re an affiliate owner, you owe it to your members to have a few of these at your gym. Remember, injured members won’t be paying you, so it pays off to keep them injury free. Sometimes you can’t control when it happens, but you can at least do a little more to protect your athletes from it.