Everyone has a few Top 10 lists in their arsenal. You can probably recite your top ten TV series without blinking. Naming your top ten favorite bands or musical artists may take a little more time, but you could build a list fairly easily. Now, let’s name your top ten gym strategies to gain long term mass and strength. That list may be a bit shorter, right? It may include things like “lift heavy” and “eat a lot of food”, but specific strategies may not just roll off your tongue like the other items do. If this is the case, then you have a clear indication that some very necessary strategies for building muscle, system recovery, and injury avoidance, may just not be as ingrained as you would like. That’s okay though, since recognition of this shortcoming is the first step to fixing it!
Shoulder injuries are among the top muscle groups affected by weight training, sports, and sometimes, something as simple as time. You might train perfectly in every weight session, for decades, always taking your vitamins and warming up, using perfect form while lifting… and one day, out of the blue, you will incur a rotator cuff or AC joint injury. It’s a sad inevitability of the iron game, and one that the veterans of lifting sport have come to accept. However, doing everything you can to dodge injury in your early years, and develop good lifting practices, can help assure you minimize shoulder injury, while at the same time gaining optimal shoulder muscle mass, size and strength. After all, the name of the game is BUILDING MUSCLE, right? Let’s look at a few tips you can employ to build your shoulders up while staying safe!
Replace overhead pressing with deltoid work deemed more recuperative
First of all, you need to accept a new reality. In this world, there is no overhead press. Pretend Arnold Schwarzenegger went back in time and destroyed it at inception, and this highly dangerous movement never even existed in your world! No movement has done more to reduce shoulder strength and health than the overhead press. Doing this movement forces the head of your humorous into your acromion, which can cause impingements. Using this movement repetitively very often leader to tears of the involved tendons and muscle. There are plenty of ways to push your deltoids to the max – leave this one at home!
Use powerlifter strategies when bench pressing
If there’s one question that people with large muscles are most consistently asked, it is likely “How much ya bench?” This question is a universal conversation starter for those who lift, and it’s reasonable to play along with those who ask. However, perhaps as a result of these inquiries, most lifters of all style do keep bench press as the #1 movement in their arsenal, despite the long-term risk at which is places the shoulders. Many top professional bodybuilders have retired the movement, opting for alternate movements. The bench press is highly useful, but risky when used as bodybuilders often use it, for slow, high repetition burnout of the chest muscles. Instead, you should be training with the bench press in a manner more like that of a powerlifter. Use explosive power, keeping your chest high, elbows tucked, and shoulder blades pinched together. Let the bar land a little lower on your chest.
Train back using bodybuilder strategies
Heavy training of the upper back can place a lot of stress and strain on your shoulders, even though it’s not shoulder day. Stick with higher volume trainng for the variety of rows and pulldowns that you employ to build up back muscle. Moderate weights and very strict form will stimulate the muscles for continued growth, but will not place your AC and RC joints at that higher level of risk. Increased use of plyometrics will also benefit you, as the high repetition flexion will build the muscle, without tearing down the joints and tendons of the back, and shoulder.
Put the “Shoulder Shocker” to work!
If you’re seeking a training method for targeting your rear, medial, AND front deltoids in a quic training session, then you should look into the “Shoulder Shocker.” Performed following your standard chest and ack, training, you’ll be completing 3 super sets of several exercises, with no rest between movements. Use a rep range of 8 to 12 for optimal muscle fiber stimulation. You’ll be using 3 movements. The first will be the seated plate raise, and you’ll use a 25 or 35 pound plate for it. Move up to higher weight if you feel ready! Follow that 8-12 repetition immediately with seated lateral raises.
Band Pull-Aparts are your new best friend
Visit your nearest Sports Authority or fitness equipment website and pick up shoulder training bands. They’ll allow you to use very minimal resistance while targeting the shoulder muscles, tendons, and joints each day. Particularly of those to those who work in cubicles, you should knock out 100 repetitions with the shoulder bands at some point each day. Change up your grip and angle from time to time. You’ll discover your body begins to crave the daily shoulder muscle stimulation, and your injury frequency will plummet as well!
You’ll never completely eliminate the occurrence of shoulder degradation as Father Time takes his toll. However, you can work to minimize any chance of avoidable injury, as well as work to build up the shoulder region so as to be as strong and fundamentally strong as possible. Put these strategies to work, and see if you avoid shoulder issues for as long as possible. Good luck!