If you're serious about training, you'll know what the shoulder press is. Also called the military press, there are many variations including the seated press, dumbbell press and push press.
Because of the challenging nature of the movement, there are many people who will either avoid this exercise or injure themselves doing it.
Believe it or not, there is A LOT more going on when you lift a weight over your head than you might initially think. We won't go through that today because I know you're not that interested... you just want to lift heavy weights safely, right?
So lets jump into a routine that will take you 10 minutes or less to improve your shoulder press strength.
Minutes 0-2 - Shoulder
Circles Start with a general warm up to get the blood flowing through your shoulders. This will make it easier to change the tissue around the shoulder in preparation for the next 8 minutes of this routine.
Begin with small circles which will get bigger and bigger. Make sure you are always in control of the movement rather than flailing your arms wildly. Change directions and repeat for 2 minutes.
Minutes 2-4 - Pec Minor + Collarbone Release
You will need to invest in a massage ball if you don't have one already. These muscles act to pull downwards on the shoulderblade which limits the ability for you to move your arm over your head (in a shoulder press motion)
Releasing these muscles can produce dramatic improvements in shoulder function. Follow the under-surface of the collarbone from the shoulder all the way to the chest.
Simply place a massage ball (or similar) on these muscles and slowly and gently roll over them, thinking about releasing all the tension from them. They can be VERY sore so be careful not to add too much pressure - more pressure is NOT better.
Spend 1 minute each side and move on to the next sequence
Minutes 4-6 - Rhomboids Release
Using the massage ball, release these muscles while lying on your back or against a wall
Once again this can be very sore so be mindful with how much pressure you are applying.
Work on the inside border of your shoulderblade and slowly work your way up towards your neck, spending 1 minute each side for a total of 2 minutes.
Minutes 6-8 - Thoracic Extension
Place the foam roller in the middle to upper part of your back Interlock your fingers and support your head as you slowly see-saw over the foam roller.
You may hear a few clicks which is okay as long as they are not painful. Gently make your way up and down the upper back/thorax in the same manner.
It may help to breathe in and out deeply, imagining all that tension leaving your body on the exhale.
An important tip is to always keep the ribcage down rather than letting it lift upwards in order to protect your lower back Spend 2 minutes on the roller before moving on
Minutes 8-10 - Single Arm Press
Now that you've released the tight muscles holding you back, you need to train the correct muscles to help move your shoulder blades and give you a really solid overhead press.
Using a LIGHT weight (3-5kg for most people), carry the weight with the upper arm parallel to the ground and the forearm vertical (90/90 position).
From here, use your shoulder to press the arm over your head. I find this drill very useful for teaching the shoulderblade how to contribute to the motion correctly Perform 2 sets of 10-15 each side
So there you have it!
Give this routine a try before any of your upper body or shoulder pressing days and see the difference it can make. If you liked this content and would like to find out more,
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