EstimatedEst. Read Time: 5 minutes
HEALTHY SHOULDERS – THE GATEWAY TO TOTAL BODY MUSCLE GROWTH

shoulder workoutsDon’t get scared.  I’m not going to get all “Physical Therapist-ish” on you here and start talking about anatomy, physiology, biology, and every other “ogy” out there to make my point.

What I am going to do however is show you how of all the muscle groups in your body, the single most important to keep healthy if you want longevity in the gym is….the shoulders!

 

One Of The Most Injured Joints In The Body

That said, the shoulder joint is probably one of the most injured joints in the body (even higher if you consider that group of guys I work with…major league pitchers!).  The cause actually has to do with what actually is the joint’s greatest asset…its mobility.

As a tradeoff for being one of the most mobile joints in the body, the shoulder isn’t the most stabile.  I’m sure you’ve either heard about, known someone, or even suffered yourself through a dislocation, broken collarbone, had impingement, or had a rotator cuff and/or labrum tear.

Unfortunately none of these are that uncommon. That said, how do you continue to get in your workouts and make your regular trips to the gym if your shoulder is aching something fierce?  The answer is…you probably don’t.  At least, you don’t with the idea of making any progress.  

Maintenance becomes the goal at that point. You might say, well…I can still train legs, but I challenge you to try and put 45 pound Olympic plates on the ends of the bars when your shoulders aren’t strong enough to hold the plate let alone lift it to almost head height.  Even holding dumbbells at your sides could be a bit of a challenge if you have a labrum tear.

When you tear the labrum you lose a bit of the suctioning ability of the shoulder joint to hold the ball and socket tightly in place. Lose this and then try to hold a 45 pound dumbbell and you’re liable to feel like either Plastic Man getting his arms stretched out or worse…like your arm is no longer IN the socket!

Exercises To Protect The Shoulder

As I pointed out last time there are a few exercises you can avoid if you want to try and protect your shoulders, particularly if you’ve had problems in the past or are a current athlete who relies on your arms for your living!  The first was the upright row.  While I have at times used this exercise in combo with other movements like a clean, I still maintain a love-hate relationship with it.

It does produce effective shoulder development, but in people with unhealthy shoulders already…at a cost. If you’re going to lift the weights up to this height (either on a side lateral raise or an upright row) one simple tweak can make all the difference.  Simply don’t allow your pinkies to raise higher than your thumbs.

You’ve probably heard before to assume a position at the top of either exercise like you’re pouring a pitcher of water?  Well….um…..scratch that.  That’s bad advice.  You’re internally rotating your shoulder and making it all the more likely to have an impingement flair up from that position.  Instead, keep the thumb higher then the pinky and you’ll reduce the stress on the rotator cuff and shoulder by a significant amount.

Finally, when doing your dumbbell shoulder presses, try as often as possible to do them standing.  This will keep your shoulder blades operating smoothly with normal mechanics.  If you sit on a bench with your back plastered to the pad, you’ll actually lock down the shoulder blades and prevent them from rotating up as smoothly as they should be.

This will throw off the whole mechanics of the arm traveling overhead, which will ultimately lead to compensations and breakdowns.  For as simple a change as just standing instead of sitting, believe me…the long term benefits are invaluable.

 

The Goal: A SAFE Program

So you see, the goal when going to the gym or even starting a new workout program shouldn’t just be finding a program that produces results…but also one that produces results that you can repeat for days, weeks, months and even years without it leading to an injury that prevents you from working out at all.  As I said, the most vulnerable point in your kinetic chain is that shoulder joint.

A poorly put together strength training program can destroy a shoulder quicker than a bad personal trainer can tell you what the role of the shoulder even is! Don’t put yourself in the position where you have to rely on this type of advice.

Do what you can do to “arm” yourself with only the most logical but also fun and challenging exercises and workout routines that are not only going to get you strong, but keep you going strong for years and years to come!

Best in health,

Jeff

Know you need to start a workout program but aren’t sure if it’s safe due to your already achy joints?  CLICK HERE to find out more about the AthLEAN-X Training System, a 90 day strength and conditioning program developed by former head physical therapist and strength coach for the New York Mets and current trainer to elite celebrity athletes.  Copy the same program that keeps these guys going strong.

Popular & Trending
stop doing face pulls like this facepull mistake
1
How To Do Face Pulls
By Jeff Cavaliere MSPT, CSCS
September 9th, 2019
Face pulls are one of the best corrective exercises to help offset poor posture and shoulder dysfunction.  They help strengthen the chronically weak...
how to identify your body fat percentage with images for men
2
Body Fat Percentage
By Jeff Cavaliere MSPT, CSCS
May 1st, 2013
There are many ways to measure body fat percentage; some wildly expensive and most inaccurate. It's time to give you an alternative method that...
2 reasons your biceps aren't growing and 3 ways to fix it
3
Why Your Biceps Aren’t Growing
By Jeff Cavaliere MSPT, CSCS
August 22nd, 2019
Have you ever felt that no matter how much you trained your biceps you’re left saying… “My Biceps STILL Aren’t Growing?” I believe I know...
The PERFECT Abs Workout
4
The PERFECT Abs Workout
By Jeff Cavaliere MSPT, CSCS
July 31st, 2019
We’ll be following my ‘Six Pack Progression’ sequence as we choose each of the beginner and advanced ab exercises for each abdominal movement...
incline bench press avoid mistakes for upper chest
5
How To Incline Bench Press Correctly
By Jeff Cavaliere MSPT, CSCS
June 21st, 2019
The Incline Bench Press is one of the best upper chest exercises there is, but there's one major problem preventing us from getting the maximum...
best dumbbell exercises for chest
6
The BEST Dumbbell Exercises for CHEST
By Jeff Cavaliere MSPT, CSCS
October 9th, 2019
Today I’m going to share my favorite chest exercises… but there’s a catch. We can only use dumbbells! I’ll show you what to do whether you...
how to construct a complete chest workout
7
The PERFECT Chest Workout
By Jeff Cavaliere MSPT, CSCS
July 25th, 2019
The classic theory of "Upper, Middle, and Lower" chest exercises is a good start, but, it's not enough!! The solution to this problem is to not...
best dumbbell exercises for shoulders
8
BEST Dumbbell Exercises for SHOULDERS
By Jeff Cavaliere MSPT, CSCS
October 5th, 2019
You want to build big shoulders and you only have access to a few pairs of dumbbells. What do you do? I’m going to show you what to do whether...
how to construct a complete biceps workout
9
The PERFECT Biceps Workout
By Jeff Cavaliere MSPT, CSCS
July 15th, 2019
The classic theories of “just do curls” or “it’s not necessary to train your biceps directly” are both flat out wrong! Why? Because it’s...
Home Chest Exercises UPPER, MID, LOWER CHEST!!
10
Home Chest Exercises
By Jeff Cavaliere MSPT, CSCS
March 25th, 2020
Being able to effectively hit your upper, mid and lower chest from home with NO equipment may seem impossible. But, I’m here to show you it’s...