Tip: The Ultimate Shoulder Warm-Up

Grab a light band and run through this clever drill. Your shoulders will feel amazing and you'll be ready to smash the heavy weights.

The shoulder has the potential to be either the most vulnerable joint in your body OR crazy strong through a vast range of motion. Failure to have variability in your shoulder work can result in overuse injuries, especially if you go down the route of specializing in a specific strength method or sport. A little bit of boring rehab/prehab work can help.

Standard strength programs generally concentrate on the positions that can be loaded the most, which make sense when you want to lift maximum loads. The problem with this is that the little guys can become very unhappy, and those little stabilizing muscles are the ones that make the biggest noise when you're injured.

People don't have time to run through a million different warm-up drills and corrective exercises. But throwing in a few rotational shoulder exercises will prevent a lot of bad things from happening.

Banded shoulder dislocates with an added "wrap around" are a great way to get the feel of your lats for deadlifts, pull-ups and Olympic lifts. They're also a good general warm-up for your shoulders. The reverse variation is a great way to get some pec work in, especially if you don't have any access to a cable machine.

Band Dislocates with Wrap-Arounds

Here's how to do it:

  1. Get a thin resistance band and take a wide grip with your arms and elbows locked out.
  2. Initiate the movement from your shoulder and start to make a big circle around yourself.
  3. When you reach the top, elevate your shoulders up into your ears and begin to bring your arms down behind, dropping your shoulders back down again.
  4. Aim to feel a stretch in both pecs and biceps and ensure both shoulders are moving together.
  5. While at full extension behind you, wrap the band around your waist and squeeze your index fingers together in front of you, focusing on using your pecs.
  6. Return to the start position and wrap the band around your waist again, this time behind you, keeping your shoulders back and down.
  7. Pull back into yourself and focus on your lats and having tall posture.
  8. Repeat 10 times or throw it in between sets during training.
Tom Morrison is a British weightlifting coach, martial artist, and CrossFit trainer and competitor. Tom works with athletes on prerequisite movement capabilities for optimal strength, performance, and reduced risk of injury.  Follow Tom Morrison on Facebook