The Best Exercise for Shoulder Strength and Health
- Start and finish position
- Safe movement patterns
- “Clean” power
Start and Finish Position
Safe Movement Patterns
Protection Against Weak Links
- Sit down and finish the set. This removes the stability requirements of the hips and pelvis so the low back can’t give up its stable position. Or you can keep the hips and pelvis involved by standing on one leg and resting one foot on a high chair or bench. The hip flexion position of the raised leg minimizes the possibility of tilting the pelvis forward and hinging at the back.
If a hinge still happens, simply lift the foot off the chair or bench to stop it. I prefer this one-legged variation since it connects the press to the ground through the feet, ankle, knees, and hips, rather than through the sit-bones of the pelvis. It’s a more holistic exercise, challenging more than just the shoulder girdle.
- The second fix is to lower the weight and finish the set with cleaner form. This one is a less favoured option, since a person can still compensate with a lighter weight if they are chasing reps. It’s also less favoured because it requires conscious control of form. Self-limiting fixes always have more carryover to adaptation than conscious control fixes. The first fix is self-limiting, as it automatically won't let you disconnect from a stable trunk. This helps to save the pattern into your nervous system better than lowering the weight.
Placing one foot on a box can help correct pelvic rotation. (Photo courtesy Greg Dea)