• Super Shoulders

      By Jeremey DuVall, M.S., CPT Men's Fitness

      Developing huge shoulders can help you move more weight in the gym, but also help you fill out a shirt and develop a dominating physique. The problem, flexibility issues and improper moves can lead to nagging aches and pains that will put an end to your workouts.

      Keeping your shoulders healthy for the long haul requires more than just a few stretches. Performing the right exercises and at the right time can help you create a shoulder-building program that wonít leave you sidelined. Soft tissue work like foam rolling can help break up knots that develop from a typical desk posture. Focus on rolling out the lats and using a tennis or lacrosse ball to loosen up your chest.

      For shoulder building exercises, the days of doing tons of behind-the-neck shoulder presses are over. To build a balanced approach to your routine, focus on incorporating equal amounts of pushing moves that build your chest and traps with pulling variations that move your shoulders back into a proper position and strengthen the lats and rhomboids. Substitute old moves with these smarter alternatives to build muscle and stay injury free.

      Old: Lateral Raises

      New: Scaption

      Do it right: Holding a dumbbell in each hand with your thumbs pointed up and your shoulders depressed, lift your arms at a 45-degree angle in front of you (in between directly out front and to the side). Your shoulder blades should rotate upward as you lift.

      How it helps: Depending on the shape of your shoulder (everyone is slightly different), lateral raises and heavy front raises can impinge tendons and nerves. By moving at a 45-degree angle with your thumbs up, youíll help avoid impingement, but still build rock-solid shoulders.

      Old: Upright rows

      New: Face pull

      Do it right: Set a rope attachment at chest height. Grab the handles in both hands with an overhand grip and your thumbs pointing towards you. Pull your shoulder blades back as you pull the rope attachment towards your face keeping the elbows high.

      How it helps: Rotating your hands in and driving them upward as in an upright row begs for shoulder impingement and other issues. Instead, work on retracting the shoulder blades with the face pull to combat hours of sitting in a shoulders-forward position. Not only will your shoulders be stronger, but youíll have a better posture as well.

      Old: Behind-the-back shrugs

      New: Overhead shrugs

      Do it right: Hold a barbell overhead with an overhand grip slightly wider than shoulder-width. Keeping your elbows locked out, drive the barbell upward by shrugging your shoulders straight up.

      How it helps: Grabbing a barbell behind your back pulls your shoulders into a forwardly rotated postured. Thatís prime territory for (You guessed it!) impingement when shrugging your shoulders. Raising the barbell overhead helps keep your shoulders in a more neutral position and safer from injury.

      Old: Bench pressing (and tons of it)

      New: Neutral-grip floor press

      Do it right: Lying on the ground with a dumbbell extended out in front in each hand, slowly lower your elbows down at a 45-degree angle until your elbows touch the ground. Pause for a second before pressing back up.

      How it helps: Lots of barbell pressing can irritate the shoulder because of improper flexibility. Plus, most guys lower the bar all the way down to their chest, which may be too far for their shoulders. A dumbbell floor press allows for a neutral grip, which is much easier on the shoulders, plus the floor gives a depth meter to prevent you from going down too far. Youíll still get some chest, anterior deltoid, and tricep work in without risking shoulder injury. Donít eliminate bench pressing completely from your workout (unless you have pain), but alternate with floor pressing to stay injury free.

      Source: http://www.mensfitness.com/training/...your-shoulders
      Comments 6 Comments
      1. dogboy2's Avatar
        dogboy2 -
        As someone dealing with chronic shoulder pain I REALLY appreciate this and look forward to trying it out this week.
      1. yazan's Avatar
        yazan -
        These exersises are cool and I'm gonna try them next week. But I didn't get how to do the face pull. Can someone else explain it in noob terms lol
      1. broda's Avatar
        broda -
        If you actually bench properly you don't have to worry about it hurting your shoulders though. That's a non-issue to me.
      1. ALPH0NSE's Avatar
        ALPH0NSE -
        So if someone has "Shoulder Tendonitis" can he use these techniques?
      1. broda's Avatar
        broda -
        Aside from probably the Overhead Shrug you should be good to go.
      1. mkretz's Avatar
        mkretz -
        i like that overhead shrug idea!
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