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Best Shoulder Exercises: How to Train for Longevity

Posted on December 30, 2022

To watch the full video, click here: https://youtu.be/Il7MSPJlzbM

Things are gonna get a little bit weird today, I’ll be honest with you. And if you’ve been in this industry for more than a year or so, you’re gonna see some movement patterns that aren’t going to be very authentic, but definitely off the beaten path. Because I’m going to be giving you 10 of the best shoulder exercises that don’t just look like this, or like this, what I would call antiquated ways of training the shoulder and how it functions. But before I dive into what I’m going to be talking about, and potentially changing the way that you train, if you haven’t subscribed yet, please hit that subscribe button and the notification bell so you can get notified every time we post new videos on how to optimally train movement address some movement related pain, to dysfunctions, or even how to create some killer functional workouts. So it’s gonna be awesome, it’s gonna be helpful to keep that and I really appreciate it. Thanks for doing that. So now, these 10 next exercise I’m going to begin to give you are going to be the exact same exercises that I have literally used today on my clients that have used my clients tomorrow, and have used on the past to help not only just optimize performance, but actually to fix shoulder pain, to actually produce long lasting shoulder health. So my clients, my athletes can perform just the way that they want to. So as I go through each one of these, we have kind of a few different lens that we want you to think about. Okay, I want you to think about, okay, what muscles are are actually involved in these exercises. So that’s kind of first thing. Second thing is thinking about, Okay, wait a minute, how does the motion that I show actually contribute to shoulder health slash performance. Because some of these are going to be a little bit more restorative, some of these are going to be very much more power don’t convert very much on the performance end. So let’s get into this list right now. The first drill on our list is an overhead press matrix. The tenor matrix means multiple planes of motion, we typically get an overhead presses just right over top. But that over the top is a wear and tear that we continually do over and over and fitness. What if I started to take that overhead press and go interior with it? What if it had overhead pressing go posterior with it, limited overhead, press go right and left lateral with it. Whatever David overhead press into right and left rotational with it. What I love about that drill, and what I love about this overhead press matrix is taking this component of multi directional shoulder motion to increase more strength at more variabilities and different muscle tensions along a greater spectrum. Now, here’s something to watch out for, is if you are very strong with a vertical overhead press, then you’re going to have to reduce your load as you change, different angulations, especially going posterior, and especially going lateral to either right or left side. Because we can’t just assume we’re strong in all of these different positions. We’re not, you’re strong at what you do. So strengthen what you do, but also strengthen what you don’t do. For optimum shoulder health. As we bring in, you can see a huge, huge pattern, the thoracic spine, and the scapula into how the shoulder performs. So first fill, overhead press matrix. Drill number two is a SFT or you call sagittal frontal transverse plane push up a lot of these matrices and multiple three dimensional ways of doing things, I have to give a lot of credit to the gray Institute for for kind of crafting these awesome ways of training for health. But in this push up position, you got to think about how am I going to perform through the shoulder health again, we go after this pattern. If we do the same thing over and over again, we’re going to wear and tear our joints faster. But if we change our angulation up, we’re going to hit more muscle fibers and different planes of motion and angulations. To achieve more strength, more versatility, and obviously more longevity. So put right hand in front of left, give yourself a push up, put your left hand in front of your right, get a push up, I just recreated an incline and decline benchpress wide, I get that wide grip on the bar narrow of course hitting this one narrow grip on the bar. But then I do something a bar can’t do I can finger open or externally rotate through the arm and achieve much more, much more lengthening through the anterior side. And then I can do a finger in or internally rotate and it gets much more through the posterior aspect of my pushup musculature. It’s a great way to hit multiple different aspects, trained for much more versatility of strength and mobility and obviously have much more to do with making that shoulder as strong and as versatile as possible. Alright, moving on exercise number three is a prone on hand or on elbow, hip drive matrix. Again, use the term pitches as a multi directional or front back side side Add rotation, rotation application of movement. So I’m gonna get prone, I’m gonna go prone on elbows. And now good thing about my shoulders are in play because they’re directly connected to the arm into the elbow into the forearm. So now they’re going to be stable players, as my pelvis goes through a posterior drive or backwards and up, when my pelvis goes to an anterior down driving and move up through my thoracic spine, as you saw what happened on my shoulder joint, I’m basically getting flexion and extension that my shoulder joint by me moving through my core, as my stay here and talk to you, of course, I was working even harder. The cool thing about having strong shoulders is having a strong core to help those shoulders move. And as I move my pelvis through side to side motion, I get not only a B and a beat a B, and a deduction, excuse me, but also a little bit of a bit, a little frontal plane slide, as again, taking now through rotation, getting my core to be strong, not only in the internal and external rotation components. But again, if I use my shoulder in real life, I have to move and be stable through this base structure, call my core. So though it’s an indirect shoulder strengthening drill, we all know, if we’ve been holding a plank long enough, the upper portion of our body gets worked hard, as well as our core does. And that’s an integration piece that a strong, healthy, powerful shoulder needs strong, healthy, powerful neighbors. And that is all the way down, especially in this core. So we’re training, strong shoulder shoulder health, make sure that core is involved. And a prone plank. With three dimensional hip drive is a great way to go after exercise number four of our list is going to be grabbing on to anything that we can remain as flat, this is going to be called a tea cup. And the tea cup is probably the closest functional way to integrate authentic full body movement into the traditional, external internal rotation, vertical, horizontal banded drills that we do in traditional training, physical therapy for shoulder rehab. Now this drill is going to be a full representation of what this drill can look like. So grab onto something, again, so that you can just basically barely grab onto a yoga block here. And I want you to go through two different motion patterns, you’re going to go through an external or a spinning out pattern and watches my hand or weight goes overhead, we’ll see what my body does to help this pattern work out very successfully. As I start to go into maximum internal rotation, with shoulder overhead, I start to bring it back home, and then flip and flip and start to move into now external rotation not trying to drop this weight as it sneaks in just past my hip. What I just did, now going the opposite direction is literally taking my pelvis, my thoracic spine, my scapula, and my glenohumeral joint via the elbow arm complex into its full potential range of motion, I hit all three planes of motion of shoulder health. In those two motion patterns. It’s really a brilliant, brilliant motion pattern as I have overhead, lateral flexion even going into overhead in front of me into full internal rotation. Now coming back into a little bit of extra rotation into full extra rotation with a shoulder full AB reduction, or abduction, excuse me, as they come back out into shoulder AB duction in the back into external rotation in the shoulder flexion. It’s just the full gamut. Now, obviously, somebody is in pain, you’re not going to go through the full range of motion, but you will go through the range of motion that they can do, expressing how the body moves with this traditional pattern. This is not how the shoulder works. It rarely, if ever actually moves in that way. So let’s not strengthen it in that way. Let’s strengthen it in ways through integration of hip patterns. I’m spending more time on this drill because I want you to see how the hip actually can operate with patterns and how it moves. And presses you always see the hip with the thoracic spine. Can’t see the shoulder behind me. But you can you can get a sense of how it moves in integration, or authentic movement patterns. Does it look weird? Course it looks so weird. But is it real? Yes,

it’s real. All right, moving into exercise five halfway through this, this list here. Now we just show the teacups beforehand of how we can get shoulder mobility and range of motion. But how do you strengthen that pattern? Well, you have to use a few other drills to really wind it up. Even though you could certainly put a much heavier load in your hand is certainly yet but let’s think about other ways that we can do that. Why do you use a curl matrix again? You can use the word matrix to evolve multiple different planes of motion. So we’re thinking about a curl. We think about the terminal, what does a curl do? What brings a weight from hip height to shoulder height? Okay, so well, how will that look in all three planes of motion? Well, if you use the definition of bringing something a load, from hip heights, to shoulder height, we’re gonna have to think about a curl a little bit differently. But of course, there is a, an anterior curl, which honestly, is a great strengthening drill to support shoulder health. Because the next best thing that attaches to that shoulder on the anterior side is the biceps. So what about a posterior curl, what that would basically call the tricep extension, but we’re going to go through hip flexion, thoracic spine flexion, with tricep extension, because that is how the body actually operates in real life. So I want to get that play with all the other muscles neuromuscular II talking to each other, to make that happen. What about a, a lateral? Well, that would be a lateral fly, right, but still moving from hip height to shoulder height. But again, you see how my hips play with that pattern. Now, if you’re in physique training, you’re gonna see because you’re using your hips to take away potential of isolation at that shoulder. And I’ll say yes, on purpose, because a shoulder does not like to live a long life with performance in isolation, it only works in performance with integration of movement. And that’s how we function in life and in sport. So let’s train the hip to move neuromuscular with that pattern. So it’d be a lateral about a crossover lateral, well, that’s going to be this pattern here, coming across the body. So as I move, I’m actually taking my hips across the body, across the body, I’m actually not only getting my bicep, and I’m getting my anterior delt, and I’m also getting this whole aspect of my lateral trunk to flex. So I’m actually getting latissimus, dorsi, and lateral core muscles to flex as I move through to produce power. With that type of motion pattern. If you’re a golfer, are trained golfers, that is the motion you do with every single swing that you go through. Let’s not make that shoulder just weaker. Let’s make it stronger as it goes to that pattern with intent. What about rotation? Well, again, I want to go from hip to shoulder height. So if we go from here to here, here to hear, you see, oh, that’s just a nice little fly, really focusing on the post your aspect of the deltoid. Now say That’s correct. But let’s not just isolate it out. Let’s take the pelvis with it, let’s take the thoracic spine with it, let’s get all those rotator muscles through the core to help that process out as well. Again, as a broken record, that’s how it works in real life. And then the opposite one would be kind of like doing a hook, right, a big ol crossover hook to go crossover hook. What’s the difference between this one, this is much more lateral flexion of the body. This one’s more rotation of the body, me getting more turning in of my humerus on itself. Some great drills that really add some versatility. And really the most important thing that I want people to realize and see about this one is that it adds way more muscle activation, you’re going to turn on more muscle fibers. With these pattern changes, you’re going to involve more connective tissue kind of breaking down, that’s going to rebuild itself back up to be essentially an amazingly healthy, versatile shoulder. Alright, I find more exercises to get through. But I want to know which of the first five you like the most, or spark the most interest for you to know more about. So let me know in the comments below. I’m gonna get to the next five right now. Exercise number six in my top 10 list goes into the more than mobility range of motion pattern that the tea cups did. And we call this one type one and type two spine motion as it’s delivered through the shoulder. So I want to break this down a little bit. There’s two major patterns that the spine and shoulder because it attaches directly to it goes to goes through, it goes through gait and it goes through throwing, meaning us walking and us running or us locomoting Our shoulder gets thrown through a pattern that our spine dictates essentially, and through throwing that can be any sort of throwing something that leaves your hand a ball, a racket, a club, whatever the case is, and that’s another motion. And if we do those patterns, often enough, if their spine doesn’t give us the range of motion, then our shoulder will essentially beat itself up in the lack of motion that happens center stage. So here’s the first motion. It is spine rotation to the right, and spine motion, opposite side flexion or bend the opposite way. And if I take my hands and expose the leverage that my spine gives us I can give Motion patterns and reaches that sort of take my spine, and therefore my entire shoulder girdle and say, Oh, that’s exactly how I need to operate. And if I don’t have this range of motion, then therefore I don’t have this range of motion, or this range of motion, or this range of motion. So I’m going to essentially give my core the freedom it needs. So this can live the life of performance. So again, that is rotation to one way of my spine, and bending the opposite way of, of my spine, that’s the throwing way of doing it. What about the locomotion way of doing it the walking running way of doing it? Well, that is still going to involve the same two components, but done in a different order, we’re going to, we’re going to rotate one direction, and bend the same direction. So I’m going to rotate to my right, but bend to my right as well. And that’s how we actually run and walk. As we actually go through that same pattern. When I stepped forth my right leg, my left arm comes forward that spun me to the right, because I’m in this direction pattern. And because this hip has, has kind of rose up a little bit, and this arm swinging forward, it drops me down and actually takes me into a lateral flexion of my right side core, with my right leg in front. And if I can actually take that pattern and train that lat to not only pull me there, but most importantly, take my other lat to lengthen me, then as I come through and power through this leg, I will not only contract for the posterior part of my leg, but also contract for the front aspect of my hip and lateral core to rip me to the opposite side. Now I have two engines. I have two motors, one 2am, I going to perform better, am I going to run faster? I’m gonna have more consistent energy usage through my through my, my basically the most efficient pattern I have in my entire arsenal. locomotion? The answer is yes, absolutely. So if I want my arms to run harder, if I want me to throw harder, I better have the access through here. And that’s how we use type one. And type two reaches with our hands even loaded. To access that, by exercise seven comes into a very, very basic form of warming up, I want to throw a drill in there that really had something to do this, how to just prepare my body for just general motion through the shoulders, well, we have what we call a three dimensional shoulder or arm swing pattern. And it’s going to be simply this, this is a great warm up drill for any upper body techniques, it’s gonna be reaching back behind you, reaching in front of us back behind up in front, if you see how my hands are moving, whenever my hands go behind me, my pelvis goes in front of me, I get an anterior mobilization every time this happens. So now I’m gonna get chest, but I get all the way through the anterior ribs, I get through the core and the hips and the quad just to keep it simple, they lengthen, whenever my arms go behind me, what about when they go behind me in the posterior sense, right, kind of from the lower aspect, what happens to the rest of my body, like flexion, I get the sense the opposite motion, I

get hip flexion I brought thoracic spine flexion. And to get posterior mobility, every time the momentum of my arms take me back there. A great way again to prepare the body for shoulder movement through all of its friends. Now if I take my arms to the left and right, I get good leverage, I get actually my spine to laterally flex spine lateral flex. But if I allow my body to move through it, I actually get hip motion as well. Not only do I get hip motion, but I get right hip, a deduction motion as you get left hip A B duction. Now I get my pelvis to start to play the game as well as I’m doing reaches patterns or even because I really like how this pattern works. If you’re especially a water sport athlete who needs to have reaching and that same long line per side, as you’re about to grab some water and rip it through. What about the rotational pattern, spin right and spin left? I even add a pronation and supination on internal and external rotation component through my shoulders. And again what I love about this I get that isolation in rotation with horizontal ad and a B duction. With thoracic spine rotation with bilateral pelvis rotation with pronation and supination at my feet. I got every single joint in my body to move authentically through mobility through acceleration D acceleration by simply throwing my arms across my body left left and right. I think it’s a pretty good warmup I made it all the way to aid. Now this is where we started to get a little bit more specialized, unique tools and thought processes out there that are really groundbreaking and very new to our our industry. And that is grabbing on to an RMT rope or a basically a rope that has a weight of about a pound or more. Now the cool thing about what this rope does create provides a truth telling experience, about how our body functions through our shoulders. What I mean by this, again, is that it how our shoulder operates is a truth of how our the rest of our body operates. So if I can throw a rope around, just like this as an example, you can see how my body has to facilitate rotation, right rotation, left rotation, right rotation, left hip rotation, all the way even down into my ankles and my feet. So we call this a figure eight underhand throw. And if I get active with and I start throwing it more, you can see how the rest of my body has to play with it. And if I don’t do it correctly, then that rope is going to smack me in the back of the calf, which won’t feel very good. But it’s going to be a great feedback about how my angles are. So in here, what I’m doing now is I’m actually taking my shoulders, my shoulder girdle, my thoracic spine, to the same functional patterns of gait. And I’m doing it authentically using the momentum of this rope, I can express that more with greater elbow lift. And I can actually even take it and flip it to the opposite direction to overhand. And now I’m actually taking the same functional pattern of throwing or even throwing a punch, or reaching through this pattern here, but my shoulder is doing it via the rest of my body. So now I don’t have the reps that are pounding through my shoulder joint, it gets expressed to the entire body as well. Again, we call that an overhand and underhand figure eight. But there’s another term out there called a dragon roll. Now it is a drag and roll. But we like to use the term dragon roll. As I take this on, I flipped behind me flip my body back and forth. Now what’s happening on my shoulder joints, I’m getting great extension, and then a flexion. Extension, in a sense, use those sort of loosely as I roll backwards, and then forwards external rotation, internal rotation, external rotation, internal rotation is out of my body also plays with that same pattern, pelvis left and right rotation. So good way to open up through the chest, expand the body, and then rip it back through, of course, then go the opposite direction as well, to balance it out and play the game. The coolest thing about this tool is RMC rope is I’m only showing you the tip of the iceberg. And how you can start to whip this pattern, this rope functioning through to make it move to make the shoulder operate in a way that really expresses authentic movement patterns. And this is a great, great tool. Because you can start to crank up the speed and actually get cardiovascular training through your shoulder or a dumbbell kettlebell. Is the weights too high. The yielding is too dangerous in a sense, because if you make the wrong step, well, it’s can be painful, or this one, if you make the wrong step, well, maybe it’s a little mark on your leg. But that’s about it. The shoulder says I appreciate the authenticity, and the load appreciation to how I actually operate. Again, how heavy is a football, how heavy is a baseball, how heavy is tennis racket, all those things, they’re very light. So if we can train it with a little bit more weight, and the same authentic momentous whip pattern, I think this is your shoulder will appreciate that a lot. We run a number nine of great shoulder exercises. Now this kind of stems off of the arm T rope. And this is kind of a loaded aspect of a shoulder strengthening drill. And again, with the mace there’s so much that we can do I’m just going to show the tip of the iceberg. But it’s like how do we take load and apply it through our shoulder in an authentic, functional way? Well, Mace is a great example on how to do that. And how you wield this is really dependent on a lot of things. Now, this is only a 10 pound mace and they go much much heavier than this. But if I can operate my shoulder in a way that allows me to move amazing control shoulder function through a long lever arm like a baseball bat, like a hockey stick, like certain tools I use in the yard. Now do I throw them up and behind my back like like this? Not necessarily. But I certainly do with a hockey stick and a baseball ball bat. Certainly do it with a golf club. So if I know that if I don’t swing those things with my body, I don’t have a very good application and result in my sport. Right we don’t swing a baseball bat just swinging our arms, we use our body to do it, I’m not going to take this mace and use my arms, I don’t use my arms, really at all, I actually used my thoracic spine, my help my pelvis, the rest of my body to yield this 10 pounds on a long lever arm. So it’s really cool as we move through this pattern, what we can do to learn how to control weight on a lever, not destroy this. But to make it even more powerful. And amazing is a great, great way to do that in the Indian club is also a great way to do that. Even the Fit fighters down there is a great way to do that. And again, great way to show us off and to make sure that your shoulders healthy and performing for a long, long time. Exercise number 10 have great shoulder exercises. Again, the shoulder is not just about Power Strength producing, it’s about how mobile and how well it can perform multiple ranges of motion. So grabbing on to a stick mobility to make that happen, is really think about think about this, how I can yield this stick to express the authentic pneus of the shoulders capacity. So we used orangey ropes, we use mesas we use, you know yoga blocks and we use those different patterns. But think about this one from how to use just a basic stick, right.

So I’m going to use what we call a matador movement pattern to create motion patterns that say, Ooh, shoulder give me some range of motion. So you start with stick on a side and want you to flip it forward as far as you can until it basically locks. And you can’t move the stick any bit more. Well, that is your shoulders, and range of motion, at least from what your arms can do. But what about the rest of the body who I can actually flex more, stick goes more. And as a flex more, I can actually laterally move more to get that stick to even to go in his proper kind of position where I actually feel now lateral spine or to keep it lateral core. And from here, I’m going to drive it across spin across my body and as I spin across even more stretch. And the more such I can get here, the more shoulder elbow lifts I can get as well as I drive across. And once I get here again, I flip it, keep flipping until I reached my end range of motion. And again, that’s just my arms, I can go more trunk. And I can go more lateral core to bring it across the body. And I can start that pattern to drive through to drive through. And just like the rope, I can go overhand, which is going to help me get that mobility to deliver that throw, where I can go underhand and lift get a much more extension of the spine to drive up and get that good lateral positioning to drive and spin to drive and spin. As I get all the patterns that allow me to compress my body on one side, extend on the other side and coil it through as it continues to run with great efficiency and great energy from the top part of my body to produce for motion. Again, little mo stick little broomstick some patterns to understand how the shoulder moves in its in its authentic patterns with the rest of the body. Great Rachel, right there. Well, I have to throw a bonus exercise to exercise 11 Because again, the shoulder is a mobility focused joint than stability focus joint. So the shoulders again, its performance, its power, its longevity really has a case to be said that if it doesn’t have enough mobility, then it’s going to start to tear itself up. So we have to throw in a bonus exercise of simply soft tissue work foam roller foam ball Mazouz whatever the case is, and there’s some key areas that I really think we should all focus on to make the shoulders healthy and strong as as as possible. And the first area is going to be through the chest. Now the chest muscle or the muscles there, you know, it’s really it’s important that we understand that the biggest chest muscle actually attaches at the humerus, or in the arm. But the muscle that’s underneath all that the pec minor attaches at the scapula and then the chain of how this shoulder really moves it’s it’s shoulder to scapula scapula to thoracic spine, the spine, the pelvis and a very simple way of kind of understanding it. So if I don’t get the front part of my chest to open up, meaning me tip put some good old fashioned soft tissue point right through that chest and allow the the fascial connective tissue to get released enough and often enough, then we’re going to be in a world of hurt. So now we have the front part a little bit more well understood. Then we have to understand that there’s the opposite and that’s the back part of the shoulder and the back part of the shoulder again, it allows motion to come forward and then powers motion to come back. So making sure you get behind there and get some good attention. To the posterior part of the shoulder blade, all the tissue within there, so it has good traction, to lengthen forward and to power backwards. But as I’m in this position, one of the most under appreciated parts of the shoulder that I’ve ever worked with my athletes is the under arm, the subscapularis down to the down to these rib muscles that intercostals the straightest anterior, and the massive amount of fascial tension that is generated, keeping your arm underneath this now certain talking about the Terry’s muscles and the lats as well. So really getting in there and allowing from even from the lower hip, all the way up underneath onto the ribcage, think, Gosh, it’s just ribs, or there’s nothing there. Now, that’s not true. There are huge fascial chains on that lateral side. And if these aren’t released, if they aren’t mobile enough than the ability to get our arm high. Is this limited, just set fairly limited? It’s basically taking your shirt pulling it down, try to lift your arm light, why might Why won’t my arm lift, because you have too much fascial binding down here, release that arm can go up. So that’s a big, big play, you have to get after the soft tissue of the lateral trunk, front chest, back shoulder just of the nearest nearest neighbors. There’s more to than that. But that’s the primaries, we gotta keep mobile. And that’s your bonus 11th drill. All right, those are your 10 Plus bonus exercises, which really could turn into 100 of those if you’d really know how to tweak them and modify them a little bit more. But if you want to learn more about how to program a well rounded functional exercises like the ones I showed you, and one infuse more intention into your training sessions, please check out the multi dimensional movement coaching mentorship program linked below in the description. And lastly, if you really enjoyed this video please don’t forget to like subscribe and check out some of our other videos really had fun making this one showing you all the different ways that the shoulder really functions and and all the friends that come with it. So thanks for watching.

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