I watched this short video on YouTube which is called "Dislocating my shoulder for the first time (gymnastics dislocate)". It looks like this:


My questions are: Is the shoulder actually dislocated here? What are the pros and cons of the exercise?

About both points there is some disagreement in the comments. Some say the shoulder is actually dislocated, others say it's not. Further, it is said that the "ligaments will get longer and they will never be as tight to hold the shoulder correctly", while others mention the increased risk of osteoarthritis.

I will not be able to perform this anytime soon, so asking for curiosity and a better understanding of biomechanics. Thanks!

1 Answer 1


No, the shoulder is not dislocated, that's just the name of this move. Similarly, your skull is not actually crushed in a skull-crusher exercise. Its full name is "skin the cat dislocation", and it is a variation on the more common "skin the cat" exercise, with the difference being that the traditional version uses a shoulder-width grip on the bar rather than a wide-grip, and that narrower grip prevents a complete rotation.

It's essentially just an overhead broomstick mobility exercise, except that the bar remains stationary and the body moves around it, rather than the body being stationary and the bar moving around it.

The pros of this exercise are that it looks impressive and will probably get you a lot of attention on the video sharing social media tool of your choice. The cons of this exercise are that this ability probably doesn't carry over to any other activities, so you're really just training it for the sake of being able to do it.

  • I am surprised that you see no effect of the exercise at all. I can't do that because I lack the shoulder mobility. I thought that too little or too much shoulder mobility would have some relevance?
    – LulY
    Commented May 8 at 8:57
  • The skull can get crushed if you perform the skull crusher incorrectly...
    – Luciano
    Commented May 8 at 9:47
  • @LulY Yes it will increase your shoulder mobility in the specific form needed to perform this exercise. But to what other activities would you expect that ability to provide benefit? Commented May 8 at 10:04
  • @LulY David didn’t say the exercise has no effect at all. He said that this exercise has no effect besides training the specific movement of the exercise. If you want to be able to move your shoulders that way, that’s cool. But being able to move your shoulders that way isn’t going to, for example, improve your overhead press strength.
    – Thomas Markov
    Commented May 8 at 13:07
  • @ThomasMarkov I get this part that training the exercise helps executig the exercise. What I was wondering is what other positive or negative effects it might help. Like does it help to prevent Frozen shoulder or shoulder impingement? Or, on the other side, does it provoke actual dislocations? And so on.. I didnt await the exercise to make me strong though..
    – LulY
    Commented May 8 at 13:21

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