….ways to save your shoulders in the gym:
- Use a neutral (palms facing each other) position when pressing with dumbbells. This places the humerus in a position of external rotation thereby opening up the subacromial space a bit more and thereby reducing the chances of impingement. Plus most barbell pressing positions place you in a a position of internal rotation, so why do the same with dumbbells?
- Learn to tuck the elbows when doing push ups. Think about rotating your fingers out as you descend during the push up. This will tuck your elbows to your side and engage your upper back and place less stress on your shoulders. The closer your elbows are to your side, the less stress on the shoulders.
- Rotate your pressing exercises. Just because it’s chest day or upper body day, doesn’t mean you have to bench press. I know guys who have never missed a day of bench pressing when it comes to upper body work. I also know a lot of guys who are always complaining about their shoulders. Rotate your main pressing exercise every 3-4 weeks. Incline presses, floor presses and numerous variations of dumbbell presses are just some examples.
- Switch to the front squat. Some people just do not have the thoracic mobility or shoulder flexibility to back squat without placing undo stress on the anterior aspect of the shoulder joint. In addition you’ll build up some great scapular stability with the front squat.
- More pulling than pressing. Include more reps per set or one more set of pulling exercises than pressing exercises. For example if you’re doing three sets of 8 reps when bench pressing, perform either three sets of 8-10 reps or four sets of 8 reps when doing your rows.