What: Crossover Symmetry
Where to Buy: Crossover Symmetry
As you may or may not know, I suffered a shoulder dislocation in January that pretty much derailed CrossFit for me for about 2 and a half months. Once I was cleared to get back to work, I was more than weak, and had a shoulder that was so atrophied that it felt like it was full of oatmeal. CrossFit is what I do, so for me being hurt and having a long drawn out rehab is not an option. I needed to find a way to get my shoulder strength back, and as fast as possible. I scoured the internet and found a few programs for rehab but really felt like I was getting nowhere fast. It wasn’t until I stumbled upon an article written on crossfit.com about Paul Buano called Training to Recover that I discovered Crossover Symmetry.
Crossover Symmetry is a training and mobility system used to develop scapular and rotator cuff strength. It consists of resistance bands, and carabiners that are used along with a training program that was developed by a professional baseball player, and a physical therapist to help athletes develop shoulder strength. The program consists of 4 phases:
Activation Phase – A phase you should do every day before you workout. It is designed to warm up the shoulders for activity by increasing blood flow to the shoulder muscles.
Recovery Phase- This is the phase that should be done at the end of the your workouts after heavy shoulder days. During this phase you do the same exercises as the activation phase, but you do 4 second negatives for 10 Reps.
Plyometric Phase- In this phase you will do the same exercises as the activation and recovery phase, but you will do 5 sets of 5 high speed oscillations at the end range of the movements. This phase is designed to provide stability during high speed movements.
Iron Scap- This phase is designed to strengthen the scapular stabilizer muscles which in turn help you develop better posture as well as shoulder strength and rotator cuff stability.
Seeing as this is what exactly I was in search of, I contacted them to see if they would be willing to let me test it out and review it. Not only did they agree, they talked on the phone with me to give me a history of how they developed it, who’s using it and how I could use it to rehab my shoulder. Awesome dudes, so first impression was a good one!
Crossover Symmetry comes with different sets of color coded resistance tubes, straps to attach to a squat rack, some carabiners, an exercise chart, and a bag to carry it all. My set included the 7,10,15,25, and the 40 pound cables, which they call “The Bronco”!
The system also comes with an instructional book, and a detailed instructional DVD that does a great job of explaining how to use the system, and goes over each exercise in depth. This was great for me because I went through their whole system before I watched the DVD then realized I did the whole thing wrong after I watched it. So watch the DVD!
Getting to Work
Once I watched the DVD and figured out how to use the system, I was excited to get back down to the gym and get to work. They emailed me a program called 30 Days to Bullet Proof Shoulders that consists of the following schedule:
Week 1 & 2: Activation pre-WOD and every other day Recovery post-WOD
Week 3: Activation pre-WOD and every other day IRON SCAP post-WOD
Week 4: Activation pre-WOD and alternate IRON SCAP and Plyometric post-WOD
Although it was hard not to jump right in and do everything, I remained patient and followed the program as prescribed.
Well Here are my thoughts!
After a month of using Crossover Symmetry I can without a doubt say that this is a product that I absolutely stand behind. When I first started the program I could barely snatch 95 pounds, a month later I just snatched 145 and although I didn’t try for any more, I feel like I could have, Im just not ready to push it yet. That’s a long way from my old PR of 200, but a 50 pound improvement in only a month to me is an exciting thing. Also when I first started I was only able to Overhead Squat 75 pounds, but now Im up to 145 as well. I basically have only been using the Iron Scap and Plyometric phases for about two weeks, so Im sure Im am going to continue to see improvements as I continue to use it.
The program is incredibly easy to use, and really takes little time to complete. The activation phase can be competed in 5–6 minutes, and the others take maybe a few minutes more. I have it set up most of the time on the rig at the gym, and plenty of my members use it to get warmed up before workouts. I also have a few members with nagging shoulders that have really benefitted from the system as well.
All in all I would have to say that Crossover Symmetry is a fantastic system. The only negative I would say is that it is a bit pricey, but for the health of your shoulders, it’s a small investment if it keeps you strong. The harder we push ourselves, the more tools we need to keep us healthy, and Crossover Symmetry is definitely one of those tools that I recommend that you have, especially if you have shoulder issues. I can’t recommend it enough. It is a really well made system, that really works.