By OZFIT UFIT Bootcamp Coach Frazer
Coming from a massive background of rugby, a huge part of my training has always been focused around shoulder work. The nature of rugby being contact based has lead to lots of work on heavy weights through various planes of movement to increase strength and muscle hypertrophy. However for all the strength and aesthetical gains- the side effects are limited mobility and hugely tight muscles.
Before coming to Singapore I visited the Irish Strength Institute for a weekend course. Listening to Dr Eric Serrano speak about shoulder and scap mobility. So the exercise I am about to share with you I recently have learnt and used heavily with myself and clients with great results.
sitting on a flat bench with a rack or equivalent behind you, start with the pole or broom stick above your head. Arms should be inside the rack as seen in picture 1. The pole must be pushed against the rack, with shoulder blades pulled back sitting in a good ‘upright’ postural position.
Lower the pole slowly down (think of time under tension as this is completed) until it sits behind the head. Elbows stay inside the rack, pole on the rack and the head does NOT move forward to allow the pole down. Repeat the motion until the tightness eases. To progress the exercise move the body further away from the rack and to regress the exercise move the body closer to the rack.
Depending on your ability this will either be too easy or it will become easy as you practice. This is now where the fun comes in to the exercise. By introducing another person into the workout we can start to look at mobility and strengthening.
Simply repeat the process but this time the partner adds resistance in either a downward motion or horizontally by aiming to push the pole off the rack as you try to continue pressing up and down and maintaining the pole against the rack. Depending on range of movement and strength will determine which motion you choose to press in.
Remember the bar stays against the rack, the head stays still and the mobility comes from the shoulders and scaps.
Enjoy and let’s see the mobility increase. Next month Coach Carter (Jaike) will be running through a progression of this exercise looking at how to increase your pressing strength.