Why You Need Shoulder Health Exercises in Your Program

By djpope

May 1, 2016

injury, Prevention, rotator cuff, Shoulder

rotator-cuffOne topic Dave Tilley and myself speak in depth on at power monkey camp is shoulder health.  Shoulder pain is something we both see more often then we’d like and think a lot of these issues could be addressed prior to the start of pain.  Now, a lot of different things go into a solid shoulder health program.  Among these are full shoulder and thoracic spine range of motion and rotator cuff exercises.

Now, I’ve spoken at length about building shoulder range of motion at the site.  Another concept that I put into all of my programming is shoulder health exercise.  Unfortunately, our shoulders are not weight bearing joints like the knees and hips and can’t handle the barrage of exercise as well.  For this reason I like to add several exercises into a weekly routine to keep the shoulder joint ready for war.  This is going to require implementing rotator cuff and scapular stability exercises.

Another concept I think is very important when prescribing shoulder health exercises is specificity.  Generally our shoulder routines contain both open chain (Dumbbell / Barbell Pressing) and closed chain (Pushup, handstand and pull-ups) exercises.  Our shoulder health programs should reflect this.

So my general shoulder health concept is to combine 3 different movements and loop them into a big superset.

  1. Rotator Cuff / Scapular Stability Exercise 3 x 8-12 reps
  2. Open Chain Exercise 3 x 8-12
  3. Closed Chain Exercise 3 x 8-12

Here is an example

  1. Prone Y – 3 x 8-12
  2. Kettlebell Windmill 3 x 6-10
  3. Plank Towel Crawl 3 x 10-15 meters

I generally program circuits like these 1-2 x per week into my own programming.  If we can get your shoulders as resilient as possible I believe we’ll have less injury over time.  Just keep in mind that when you add exercises like this into your own programming you’re adding to the total volume that the shoulders have to endure over the week.  You can definitely do too much.

Want more information on how to keep those shoulders working optimally?  Keep on the lookout on May 16th when Dr. Dave Tilley, myself and the rest of the power monkey fitness crew will be releasing a digital product to help you do this.

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