Anyone who’s been lifting weights for a significant amount of time will, at some point or another, have a shoulder (or two) that isn’t too pleased with them.
Sometimes it’s a niggle —> you know, something that doesn’t feel good but also isn’t something that’s going to derail your workout plans.,
Sometimes it’s a lot more than a niggle —> but you’re an idiot and proceed to max effort bench press anyway; you idiot.
Needless to say, niggles happen – to varying degrees. Here are a few short-n-sweet preventative measures you can implement TODAY to keep your shoulders from hating you.
1. You Can Never Do Enough Rows
A simple audit of one’s program often gives a lot of insight.
It’s no surprise that the bulk of people who come to me with cranky shoulders tend to have a programming issue. Meaning, they perform a lot more pressing compared to pulling movements.
In other words: People like to train the muscles they can see in the mirror.
This can lead to an infatuation of sorts with pressing movements.
I find it rarely ever hurts to add more ROWING variations into everyone’s programs. A one-to-one (pull:push) ratio is a nice starting point. However, a 2:1 or even 3:1 (pull:push) ratio is often what’s needed.
We need to take an UNBALANCED approach to “balance” things.
In other words: More rowing variations.
Sometimes it’ll be something heavy – Seal Rows, Bent Over Rows, DB Rows, Seated Rows, Chest Supported Rows.
Sometimes it’ll be something medium – TRX Rows, Face Pulls
NOTE: This isn’t to imply that the exercises listed after “heavy” can only be done heavy and that the ones listed after “medium” can’t be performed with more challenging loads. Rather it’s just to point out that those exercises tend to be better suited for those type of loading parameters.
And sometimes it’ll be an exercise that is better suited for “lighter” loads.
Split Stance 1-Arm Band Row
2. Reaching = MONEY for Shoulder Health
I wrote about this in detail a few weeks ago in THIS article, but you probably didn’t read it because I titled it something lame:
“Exercises You Should Be Doing: This Is One That Will Make Your Shoulders Feel Better”
What I should have done is title it something like:
“101 Bicep Variations That’ll Make More People Swipe Right on Your Tinder Profile.”
And then I would have LOL’d because you would have been expecting an article on how to build swole biceps and what you would have really have clicked on is an article about the Serratus and the benefits of reaching for shoulder health.
Inspired by my good friend and Baltimore based personal trainer, Sivan Fagan, this is a SUPERB movement prep series to get your shoulders primed and ready to handle some subsequent big boy (or girl) weights.
Or if you just want a good ol’ fashioned shoulder pump.