I hope you guys enjoyed the first installment of this article. Today I’m serving up Part 2…
11) Do More Pushups- Pushups are still one of my top ten favorite exercises and always will be. They are also significantly better for your shoulders than any other form of horizontal pressing with a bar or dumbbells. Pushups are highly underrated because people don’t know how to load them properly or do advanced variations.
For loading you can get a weighted vest, chains, a Power Pushup (which is awesome) or even have a partner hold weight plates on your back. A great loading variation, and one that is very comfortable is to place a sandbag on your back with or without additional weight vests.
12) Do Suspended Pushups- Suspended pushups with rings or the Jungle Gym XT call even more muscles into play and force your stabilizer muscles to fire even harder. This is great for building up injury proof shoulders.
13) Do Kettlebell Turkish Get Ups- If you could only do one rehab/prehab/shoulder stabilization exercise this would probably have to be it, in my opinion. Make them a regular part of your routine and your shoulders will feel better.
14) Practice Handstand Holds- This is very similar to the concept of holding the barbell overhead only in this case you are holding your own bodyweight which increases neuromuscular activation and makes it significantly more effective. I recommend kicking up into a handstand against the wall at the end of each upper body workout and holding it for as long as possible.
When you get good at that try removing the wall. This is great for shoulder stabilization.
15) Walk on Your Hands- Once you get comfortable with handstands start walking laterally along the wall with your feet still in contact with it. Eventually, once you master your handstands you can start walking without the wall. In the meantime, slap a Power Wheel on your feet and walk up and down the gym floor or across a field. A great goal to shoot for is being able to walk 100 yards on your hands.
You can make hand walking even more challenging by doing Alligator pushups with the Power Wheel . Any type of dynamic range of motion exercise like this that has you moving positions on each rep is great for strengthening the shoulders.
16) Don’t go Excessively Heavy On Curls- Heavy barbell or dumbbell curls can place a lot of stress on the biceps tendon and lead to shoulder issues. For this reason I rarely recommend curls below six reps. With more advanced trainees I always keep curls in the 10-15 rep range.
Heavy curls can beat your shoulders up a lot worse than you might think. I recommend avoiding them.
17) Initiate Each Rep on Curls With a Slight Cheat- Just like the bottom position of the military press, the bottom position of a curl is very stressful to the shoulder. I recommend hitching at the waist and leaning slightly forward then extending your hips and cheating the weight the first couple inches out of the bottom.
This doesn’t mean you heave the weight up and get sloppy. Quite the contrary. Just use the momentum to initiate the movement and then keep maximal tension on the biceps throughout by squeezing and contracting them as hard as you can. On the eccentric actively contract your triceps by imagining doing a pushdown.
Using this cheat technique can extend the life of your shoulders and elbows greatly.
18) Don’t do Curls on the Same Day You Do Heavy Pressing- After a heavy pressing workout the shoulders may be pretty trashed. If you stress them even more with heavy curls the biceps tendon may start acting up and giving you problems. I have found in a large majority of cases where guys where getting shoulder pain from doing curls, that if we moved it to another day or didn’t do the curls after heavy pressing the problem started to dissipate. If you have no shoulder issues this probably won’t be a problem.
Now, if you don’t have any shoulder issues, this recommendation isn’t for you and I wouldn’t really worry about it. But if you are having shoulder problems you might want to give this one a try.
19) Don’t do Incline Curls at an Angle Any Lower Than 60 Degrees- Incline curls are great for training the biceps from a stretched position, but they also stretch the ligaments as well as the muscles. If you have shoulder issues make sure to keep the bench set no lower than 60 degrees.
Stay tuned for part 3. In the meantime do me a favor and hit the Like button below if you enjoyed this post and please leave me any comments or questions you may have.