Tip: The Key to Strong and Healthy Shoulders

Follow these two steps and you'll not only build strong delts, you'll keep them healthy.

Most lifters will, at some point, have shoulder issues, and even those who don't have symptoms normally have something that's structurally out of whack. Most people over the age of 50 have some sort of rotator cuff pathology, so you could make the argument that everyone is kicking the can down the road with respect to shoulder pain in a lifting environment. That road is just a bit longer for some people.

With that in mind, the best training tip for long-term shoulder development is to determine your tolerance for overhead pressing. Cycle it in and out throughout the month and/or year. Substitute in the landmine press (shown below) or extra horizontal pushing exercises here and there.

Also, remember that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Work in a bit of external rotation work at the end of your upper body sessions; as little as 2-3 sets per week can make a big difference. Do some prone trap raises as part of your warm-up. Use a foam roller on your pecs, lats, and upper body. Pull more than you push.

All these things bump up your overhead pressing tolerance and yield better long-term results.