Bad, sore shoulders? Here are a couple quick tips to help rid you of those pains…
Do More Pulling Than Pushing
If you’re like most guys, you’ve done way more pushing exercises like benching and military presses and done very little pulling exercises like chin ups and row variations. If you have shoulder issues or are worried that they may show up at some point down the road, start emphasizing pulling exercises. 2-3 pulling movements for every 1 pushing movement may be a good place to start.
Improve Your Tissue Quality
The tissue around your shoulder, more specifically the upper back and pecs, can become really beat up in no time. Grabbing a foam roller, or better yet, a lacrosse ball, and breaking up that junk that you’ve built up over time a few times a week will do wonders when trying to keep your shoulders healthy.
Get Off the Computer
This may sound simple, but we spend so much time slouched over a computer that we end up with terrible posture. I understand that many people have no choice but to sit behind a computer for many hours a day at work, but getting up and stretching may do wonders for you shoulder health. Getting up and moving around a little bit might be a great way to get away from your work for a few minutes and make your entire day more productive.
Improve Your T-Spine Mobility
To piggy back off the previous issue, if you have terrible posture with rounded shoulders, you will never be able to correctly get your arms over your head, creating dysfunction. But does that stop most people from performing overhead movements – nope. To get your arms overhead in a proper position you need to clean up your t-spine. Simple t-spine movements can quickly make a dramatic difference in shoulder health.
Add Some Cuff Work Between Sets
Instead of sitting around between sets at the gym, do something productive to improve your shoulder health. Simple exercises like band pull aparts, YTWL’s, and other smaller movements that will help strengthen the smaller muscles that protect your shoulder fit in perfectly between heavy sets of other exercises.
Add Push Ups to Your Program
I won’t lie, I love to bench press as much as the next guy. But, if you have bad shoulders the bench press isn’t be your best bet when it comes to horizontal pushing. Push ups, whether you have shoulder issues or not, are one of my favorite exercises and also an exercise that is always overlooked. Push ups are much more shoulder friendly than pressing with either a barbell or dumbbells. Start doing more push ups. To make it more difficult add chains, weight vests or elevate your feet on to a bench – you can easily make the push up just as challenging as the bench press if you get a little creative.
There you have it, a couple tips to improve your shoulder health that anyone can incorporate into their training program. Add one or two into your program and see how your shoulders feel – I would bet your shoulders will start to feel better in no time!