Tip: Do This Exercise Combo to Prevent Shoulder Pain

Strengthen your scapular stabilizers and you'll prevent shoulder injuries and get stronger. Here's how to do it.

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At some point, just about every lifter gets some shoulder pain. It’s often due to faulty biomechanics or weakness/inactivity of the scapular stabilizers. This exercise combination will help to activate and strengthen your scapular stabilizers.

Turkish Get-Up + Waiter’s Walk

Turkish get-ups (TGUs) require you to change your body position from lying down to standing up as you hold a weight up in the air. It recruits all of the scapular stabilizers at different points in the movement.  Similarly, waiter’s walks require the stabilizers to maintain scapular control as you walk with a weight above your head. Combining both of these exercises together sends the demand through the roof.

How To Do Them

  1. Lie down with a fairly light kettlebell or dumbbell (20-30 pounds is enough if you’ve never done TGUs before) in your right hand.
  2. Do a Turkish get-up, then walk straight forward about 10 yards with the weight held fully extended above you in a waiter’s walk.
  3. Turn a slow 180 degree rotation to face your starting point and walk back.
  4. Reverse the TGU movement to lie back down.
  5. Switch arms and repeat for 5-10 times, 20 yards per arm.

Try this combo as a warm-up before overhead pressing or use it as a finisher.

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Dean Graddon (B Ed, MA) is a high-school teacher and coach with over 20 years' experience working with athletes from such diverse disciplines as swimming, soccer, volleyball, basketball and triathlon. Dean is dedicated to the promotion of health and fitness and loves a good challenge.