Total Gym Shoulder Strengthening Exercises, Phase II



Shoulder Strengthening Exercises Phase II

Shoulder Strengthening Phase 2


The first post in this series demonstrates some great Total Gym exercises that aim to increase your strength and awareness of your shoulder muscles. If you’ve been doing these exercises regularly and can feel your shoulders getting stronger, you’re ready to up the intensity. You can do this by increasing the resistance and/or changing the exercises. This post demonstrates some new exercises that you can add to your routine. Feel free to incorporate the Phase 1 strengthening exercises from the first post as a warm up to the new routine.

The Phase 2 routine focuses on the upper body. It can be a standalone program or incorporated into a lower body routine for a total body approach. Aim to do these exercises at least 2 – 4 times per week. This routine focuses on muscular endurance and strength.

To train your endurance, perform 12-20 repetitions in a 45-60 second time period. For strength, perform 6-12 repetitions in a 45-60 second time period. Intensity is about 65-75% for endurance and 70-85% for strength. With all the exercises, the higher the incline, the higher intensity. Start at the lower middle third and assess if you need to raise or lower the height accordingly. Remember the importance of maintaining proper form.

Phase 2 Shoulder Workouts

Seated Shoulder Flexion


Sit facing away from the tower with the elbows straight and a handle in each hand. Flex the arms to shoulder level, so the arms are at 90 degrees in front of you.

Tips:

1 Keep width in the chest. Avoid rounding the upper back and/or arms.
2. Think of reaching the hands down to the floor then up to shoulder level. This will help stop the shoulders from rising up toward the ears.

Seated Shoulder Extension


Sit facing the tower with the elbows straight and one handle in each hand, pull the arms straight back.

Tips:
1. Keep the body upright. Avoid leaning forward at the hip to compensate.
2. Switch it up by facing the palms backward, forward, and facing each other. Try a few sets each way.
3. Avoid momentum. Visualize reaching the hands toward the floor, as you pull the arms back and return forward to the start position.

Seated Shoulder Horizontal Abduction


Sit lateral to the tower with the handles in the hand closest to the base and elbow straight, pull the hand across the body. The arm should be shoulder level when reaching toward the base to start.

Tips:
1. Focus on pulling the shoulder away from the ear throughout the movement.
2. Avoid leaning the body toward the tower to compensate.
3. Self-spot with the feet on the floor, or use the other hand to help.

Seated Shoulder Horizontal Adduction


Sit lateral to the tower with the handles in the hand closest to the tower and elbow straight, pull the hand across the body. The arm will be shoulder level when reaching toward the base to start.

Tips:
1. Focus on pulling the shoulder away from the ear throughout the movement.
2. Avoid bending the elbow to compensate.
3. Self-spot with the feet on the floor, or use the other hand to help.

Inverted Supine Shoulder Flexion


Lay on your back facing the tower with one handle in each hand. Keep the elbows straight and pull the handles up toward the sky,

Tips:
1. For full range of motion, perform one at a time. Also, be sure to place your buttocks at the top edge of the glideboard.
2. Visualize first reaching toward the pulley then reach the arm up overhead. Don’t let the shoulders rise up toward the ears.
3. To self-spot, place your feet on the rails and assist with your legs.

Inverted Supine Shoulder Lateral Raise


Lay on your back facing the tower with a handle in each hand. Keeping the elbows straight, pull the handles out to the sides forming a “T.”

Tips:
1. For full range of motion, perform one at a time. Make sure your buttocks is at the top edge of the glideboard.
2. Focus on lengthening the shoulders away from the ears to help avoid shoulder elevation compensation.
3. To self-spot, place your feet on the rails and assist with your legs.

Inverted Supine Biceps Press


Lay on your back facing the tower with one handle in each hand and the elbows straight. Bend and straighten the elbows.

Tips:
1. Keep the shoulder blades pulling slightly together and down.
2. Keep the upper arms off the glideboard and aligned with the trunk to help ensure a better elbow and shoulder alignment.
3. To add in more core activation, add lower body movement such as hip hinging, bending the knees into and away from the chest, bicycling the legs, or scissoring the legs.

Prone Shoulder Extension


Lay on your belly facing the tower with a handle in each hand, reaching overhead to the tower. Pull the arms straight back toward the hips.

Tips:
1. To assist in spinal alignment, visualize the crown of the head reaching for the tower. Gaze is slightly down and forward versus looking at the tower or glideboard.
2. To intensify the exercise, lift the upper back off the glideboard as you pull the arms back. Feel the area between the shoulder blades working. To make this more challenging, keep lifted throughout the exercise

Prone Triceps Press


Lay on your belly facing the tower with the one handle in each hand, reaching the hands back toward the hips. Bend and straighten the elbows.

Tips:
1. To assist in spinal alignment, visualize the crown of the head reaching for the tower. Gaze is slightly down and forward versus looking at the tower or glideboard.
2. To intensify this exercise, lift the upper back off the glideboard with each tricep extension, or maintain the upper back lifted throughout the exercises.
3. Keep the elbows aligned or slightly behind the torso. Avoid the tendency for the elbows to drop down toward the floor.

Elizabeth Leeds, DPT

Elizabeth Leeds, owner of Seaside Fitness and Wellness, combines her background in physical therapy, personal training, and Pilates in her practice and teaching. As a pelvic floor physical therapist working at Comprehensive Therapy Services in San Diego, her passion for pregnancy and postpartum is seen in her mission to empower women with knowledge and understanding of their physical changes, and how to address them to prevent future issues.Additionally, Elizabeth is a Master Trainer and developer for Total Gym’s GRAVITY education.

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