Bulletproof Your Shoulders: Part 1

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Bulletproof your shoulders: Part 1Did you read last week’s blog?

If you have not, pause, click here, and read my rant before reading any further; the rest of this article will be waiting when you get back. I promise.

Now that you are better informed about the importance and of a good, structured strength regimen and how it is dependent upon a good, structured training program for it to work, there is one point that a reader pointed out to me: what about injury prehab?

While swimming is low impact, swimmers are particularly prone to shoulder injuries. Just ask Coach Kevin, who has been dealing with shoulder issues since college.

Prevention is the best medicine so including these shoulder and back exercises will help significantly. As I mentioned in part 1, you need structure so here is my progression for prehab exercises for upper body that can bulletproof your shoulders.

Below is “Stage One” where the focus is on mobility and muscle activation. You are most likely not used to working your shoulders like this so it is important to start without weight then by the end of the 3-6 week progression add in light dumbbells.

  1. Wall slides: Stand with your back against a wall, “cactus” your arms at a 90 degree angles palms facing up. Slide your arms up pause then back down. Your back should remain glued to the wall
  2. Ys, Rs, and Ts: Lying on a swiss ball extend both arms out to form a Y, pause and return to the start. Then extend your arms to the side to form a T. Lastly, hold your arms so that your arms are bent at 90 degrees, elbows in line with your shoulders, fists pointing to the ground, biceps parallel to the floor. Rotate your fists up so that they are in line with our body now. Pause, then rotate back down. Note, your elbows and biceps  should not move. The only part of your body that should move is your forearms and hands.   You can start to include light weights towards the end of this phase.
  3. Bar hanging: As Kevin mentioned in this post here, just hanging as if you were going to do a chin up can help your shoulders tremendously.

Stay tuned for Part Two when we go from mobility to strength.