I get plenty of questions in various comments throughout the website, but I also get comments and questions via the Project Swole Contact Form. In particular, this topic of how to fix your posture is intriguing to investigate from a fitness programming standing for myself and for all athletes.
Generally, I address those questions through e-mail, but often I do not have the time to reply to each and every question personally.
The category, Your Health Questions is a more proactive approach to answering your questions so that everyone can benefit from the Q & A.
“I need to concentrate on the rear head of my shoulder.
I think I have overtrained the front head with all the benching and what not.
Someone told me my shoulders stick out of the front which wouldn’t be a problem if they stuck out of the back too.
The overhead press; also known as the press, shoulder press, barbell press, and standing press; is often confused with the military press; and is quite possibly the best upper body exercise known to man. Sure, the bench press gets all the glory, but this is only because it is easier to lift more weight benching than pressing.
In many ways, the overhead press is actually more effective than the bench press at building upper body muscle mass. With the overhead press, we are standing up rather than laying down, which already means a better workout for the back, legs, and core. And seriously, massive, powerful shoulders are far more impressive than a puffy chest.
Just like you should not skip leg day, you definitely shouldn’t go easy when it comes to your shoulder workout. Not that you need a dedicated “shoulder day” but at least try to hit them from all directions with proper intensity.
Properly building shoulder size and strength makes for a vital part of that lusted-after “V-Shape” body physique. That physique starts with a wide top, and big shoulders make up a wide top.
But despite the importance of training shoulders, they are often done wrong, which makes you vulnerable to injury and a frustrating lack of growth. It is very easy to stumble into a pretty severe injury if you train shoulders wrong.
It doesn’t matter how big your chest and biceps are, if you have narrow shoulders you will appear to be weak and puny. Someone will surely kick sand on you at the beach, and Arnold would not approve of that.
For bodybuilders, powerlifters, athletes, and all other fitness buffs in between, wide shoulders will make you look tall, broad, and powerful so that you can be the one defending geeks from sand kicking bullies and they can help you throw the ball hard enough to win the game. Flabby or narrow shoulders lend absolutely nothing to your physique.
Everyone needs to train their shoulders.
Strong shoulders help with every other exercise from bench press to pull ups, and for all you boxers and MMA guys, well conditioned shoulders will help you to win a fight.
It is also very important to have a strong shoulder girdle, including the rotator cuff area, to prevent injuries from sports and heavy lifting.
How to Get Strong Shoulders
Firstly, chest and back are two muscle groups that are important to train, when training for stronger shoulders. As a unit, the chest, shoulders, and back form the core of your upper body strength. Once you’ve read this article you can move on to the top 5 best chest exercises and the top 5 best back exercises.
Secondly, no one developed great shoulders by focusing on dumbbell side raises or shoulder pressing on machines. The compound exercises that involve your whole body will be most effective at building big, strong shoulders. Isolation exercises will be necessary, but only for developing super strong rotator cuffs.
We should have a working knowledge of how the shoulder is put together, to better understand how to train them effectively.
If you have been injured lately and you feel like you are ready to return to the gym, you may be concerned about aggravating the injury, and rightly so. You should follow your doctor’s instructions, and you should return to active training only if they have given you the green light.
Even when your doctor says it is safe to return to training, you should still be cautious and careful not to re-injure yourself. More likely than not, your gym has different classes for different purposes. You can use less demanding forms of exercise until you are ready to resume full training. (more…)
There’s no pleasure without pain, that’s true, but when it comes to fitness, this proverb is the last thing anyone who has just dropped a bar while performing a bench press wants to hear. Both professional and amateur athletes are no strangers to all kinds of injuries, and anyone who has ever trained has had their fair share of joint dislocations, muscle tears, sprains, and strains.
However, all those issues take their toll not only on the body, but also on one’s mental health. Some injuries are inevitable, but others can be easily avoided by taking some measures of precaution. Warming up before every workout is one of the ways to play it safe at the gym.
Oddly enough, the mistake of skipping a warm-up session isn’t something that only fitness rookies do, and this bad practice can increase the risk of getting hurt by half. Let’s examine some common fitness injuries and those that you should beware of.
When it comes to toning the upper body without limits, no exercise works better than push ups. Unlike lifting weights and performing plyometric workouts, they don’t require expensive fitness equipment, can be performed almost anywhere, and the best part, they’re easy! Relatively speaking, of course. Benefits of Performing Push-ups Regularly – Increases muscle density
As you age, your muscle density reduces and alters how your body converts fat into energy. Push ups work well to increase and maintain the muscles of your upper body. This exercise tones your shoulders, chest, triceps, abs, and to a smaller extent the back, biceps, and legs. – Enhances muscles stability and balance Doing push ups every day improve the reaction time of your muscle fibers. During push ups, the fibers consistently react to keep your body balanced. This reaction enables these fibers to react faster when stimulated increasing your speed and balance. (more…)
Having great shoulders really makes you appear sleek and powerful. However, chest and back training does not suffice when attempting to build spectacular shoulders. You must train the shoulders directly, intensely, and often. Be attentive of these 6 common mistakes that people make when training shoulders.
Chronic Shoulder Instability and Impingement Syndrome are the most common types of shoulder injury. Chronic Shoulder Instabilityoccurs when the ‘head’ of the upper arm bone moves out of the shoulder socket. This results in a shoulder joint dislocation and causes great pain. On the other hand, impingement syndromeisprompted by friction occurring between the shoulder blade and rotator cuff. The friction from the rotator cuff and the shoulder blade may be caused by inflammation in a tendon or muscle.
Preparations to Rehab an Injured Shoulder
It’s important to remember that any injury needs to be checked and treated by an accredited physician. They may recommend medication and several rehabilitation techniques to encourage the shoulder to heal and function as soon as possible. The Physician will also be able to see the specifics of your injury that may alter they way you would treat it. Here are some tips to consider when preparing an injured shoulder for rehabilitation. (more…)
Rick Kaselj is a personal trainer that focuses on helping clients overcome their injuries. Rick’s specialization is the shoulder and did his Masters’ degree project on designing effective exercises for the rotator cuff. He shares with rotator cuff injury suffers and fitness professionals what he has learned in school and from his clients and has put it all into the Shoulder Pain Solved Program.
If You Don’t Want Shoulder Pain When You Lift, Do This
Thanks for all the feedback and voting in the last post.
Now I got a better idea of how I can help you.
Lets get to what you can do to get rid of shoulder pain during your lifts.
Rick Kaselj is a personal trainer that focuses on helping clients overcome their injuries. Rick’s specialization is the shoulder and did his Masters’ degree project on designing effective exercises for the rotator cuff. He shares with rotator cuff injury suffers and fitness professionals what he has learned in school and from his clients and has put it all into the Effective Rotator Cuff Exercise Program.
Exercises for Injuries Feedback
This is the first of what will hopefully be a series of posts by Rick about injury prevention and rehabilitation. Although you won’t learn about the finer details of effective rotator cuff exercises or knee injury prevention in this post, I do hope it will encourage you to think about your own aches and pains. (more…)
Update: here’s another blast from the past. Dating back to November 2, 2007, this was one of my first posts on overhead presses and it still rings true.
The four most important exercises for any serious weight lifter to obsess about are the squat, deadlift, bench press, and overhead press. Today, I am going to discuss how to properly perform a standing overhead press (aka shoulder press or military press), and a push press. Both motions are obviously used to push objects overhead. Clearly, overhead pressing is not only extremely functional but is fundamental in helping to build a firm athletic base regardless of your fitness goals.
I am going to be using a barbell in this explanation, but it can be performed with any reasonable object. First of all, load a bar appropriately and bring the weight to the front your shoulders. You can either clean the weight from the floor like an Olympic weightlifter or you can load the bar at the desired height in a squat rack. (more…)
The shoulder press; also known as the press, overhead press, barbell press, and standing press; is often confused with the military press; and is quite possibly the best upper body exercise known to man.
The bench press gets all the glory, but this is only because it is easier to lift more weight benching than pressing. Shoulder presses can help you build fully developed shoulders, and will keep your shoulders healthy and strong, especially if you spend the majority of time bench pressing.
How to do the Shoulder Press
Add 2-3 sets of shoulder presses into you routine once a week, or at least as often as you bench press. It will keep your shoulders broad and healthy.
Among the best exercises for strength, size, speed, and power, are squats – no exceptions. Front squats, jump squats, and overhead squats are all great alternatives to the king of squat exercises – the barbell back squat.
Squatting will help you develop powerful legs and a rigid core, have no doubt, but when we get creative we can mix and match exercises for an even more effective exercise that trains the whole body.
Sometimes we must think about our upper body as well and there is no better way to look and feel jacked, than to build massively strong shoulders. And there is no better way to feel sexy as a female, than to have sleek, strong, healthy shoulders. It is also equally important to build structurally invincible shoulders to proactively protect yourself from injury.
Combine everything together that I’ve just mentioned, and you get the overhead barbell squat. Let’s see how to do them correctly.
Each of these smaller muscles can easily be strained, pulled, or even sometimes overtrained. So important are each of the muscles of the rotator cuff, that once one muscle is damaged the whole cuff is thrown into disarray, often requiring rehab.
Disclaimer: The information provided within this site is strictly informational and is not a replacement or substitute for professional advice or treatment. The provided content on this site should serve, at most, as a companion to a professional consult. It should under no circumstance replace the advice of your primary care provider. You should always consult your primary care physician prior to starting any new fitness, nutrition, or weight loss regime.
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