Strong, Functional Shoulders

Big strong shoulders bring joy and happiness. But with the extra punishment we give our shoulders, it's really important to keep them balanced and happy. Face-pulls are great, but I prefer to do things that will:

  • Strengthen joints
  • Build muscle
  • Increase range of motion

This exercise hits all three.

Dumbbell Shoulder Rotations

I was originally taught these by a martial artist for conditioning for old-style wrestling. Those guys have indestructible shoulders. Adding this exercise will fill in the gaps in your training so you can avoid tightness and injury. Also, when you can start to go heavier with it, it becomes a great exercise for trunk stabilization.

Start off light. Keep the dumbbell as close to your head as possible and aim for 3 sets of 10 reps with each direction. As for progressive loading, there's no rush. Increasing by 2kg per month is more than enough and over time you can actually make it part of your programming, making them heavier with a smaller rep range.

Related:  Lifter's Shoulder: The Cause & The Cure

Related:  What You Don't Know About Delt Training