What’s your motivation for working out? Common responses include building muscle, injury prevention, losing a few pounds, and getting stronger. One popular underlying reason is wanting to look good. Some people might be hesitant to share that but they shouldn’t be. There is nothing wrong with wanting to look good and feel better about yourself. From a mental standpoint, looking better generally means feeling better, which leads to a more confident outlook on life and more self-esteem. And who doesn’t want to feel good about themselves and live life more confidently?
Most males out there consistently train the “mirror muscles”, meaning just the muscles they can see when they stand in front of the mirror. Chest, abs, shoulders, and biceps top the list. While there’s nothing wrong with training those body parts, it’s traditionally more effective, and safer, to go with a full-body approach and work the muscles on the backside of the body as well. Your hamstrings, glutes, back, and triceps, to name a few. Once you’ve got a solid full-body program down, you can focus on your personal fitness goals and adjust the program as needed. If one of your goals is to develop stronger shoulders while helping to prevent shoulder injuries at the same time, then adding some extra shoulder-specific movements to your routine is a smart choice.
Plan Of Attack
Don’t just grab a barbell and add overhead presses into your routine. A more effective strategy is to include exercises that improve range of motion, help to stabilize the joint, and strengthen the front, side, and back of the shoulder.
To those folks without shoulder issues…if it’s not broken don’t fix it right? Well, it may not be broken today, however, if you have imbalances or any underlying issues, why not be pro-active and incorporate movements into your routine to help avoid potential injury down the road? We need to keep in mind the big picture and always have a well-balanced strategy when we exercise. Even if we just want big and strong shoulders, adding in one or two “mobility” exercises, like hovers and get-ups, that aren’t specifically for strength and size, won’t do you any harm. In fact, they will only help you in the long run.
Here’s a quick shoulder circuit that includes 4 movements with the intent of improving mobility, stability, strength, and injury prevention. Complete 3 rounds of this circuit.
- Mobility – Shoulder Hover – 5 reps
An active mobility drill that is great for improving joint control and range of motion.
- Stability – ½ Turkish Get Up – 5 reps per side
A full-body exercise that will improve shoulder stability, core strength, and activate the glutes as well.
- Overall strength – Shoulder Press – 10 reps
When it comes to developing shoulder strength, the shoulder press exercise is at the top of the list.
- Strength/Posture – Cable Reverse Fly – 15 reps
We must focus on our weaknesses and when it comes to the shoulders, many of us need to target the posterior side.