Kettlebells Bulletproof your shoulders!
We have all been there or known someone who has, hell I've injured both my shoulders and if I face reality, it was from lack of proper warm-up, incorrect movement patterns, going to heavy before I had mastered the move, poor stability and pushing through pain.
Three common shoulder injuries are;
- Rotator Cuff Injuries, usually in form of a tear or strain,
Many shoulder injuries are preventable by strengthening the Rotator Cuff and scapular musculature, while maintaining joint mobility and stability. There is no point building strength if the body then won't move in its full range don't you agree?
But it’s important to perform the right types of exercises and avoid poor technique faults and training methods, not to mention avoid OVER TRAINING
Here are some great exercise you can start to incorporate into your training, either as warm-up or part of your pre-hab/Re-hab work and see the strength grains come in!
Halo - Effective for the shoulder joint and the thoracic spine mobility. Common reasons why some people struggle to get those extra lbs overhead
Arm Bar - Great for Rotator cuff, Lats and Thoracic. Not as dynamic as the TGU or Windmill but the stability and proprioceptive benefits (knowing where your arm is in space) are outstanding. Also, it really opens up the anterior portions of the shoulder complex (anterior glenohumoral joint, pecs, and rib cage). For tight pectorals and forward rounded shoulders, this is a fantastic mobilization.
Sling Shot - The Slingshot helps improve shoulder mobility, grip strength, rotator cuff strength, and core strength. When you think about why are we not doing more of these? One of the keys to improve your strength is increase grip and core strength! It is an active movement, but it can produce a mild traction effect on the shoulder. For patients who have trouble reaching behind their back, this movement can really help, and it's fun to do.
Military Press - The kettlebell military press is excellent for total shoulder strength, but has the mobility and stability elements to it, as well. The key being the plane of the scapula, which is approximately thirty to 45 degrees anterior to the frontal plane (see picture). Basically, your arm is not positioned straight out to the side and it’s not straight out in front of you.
TGU - Arguably, the Turkish get up (TGU) is the most important of these exercises, you have heard me refer this to the ‘Ultimate Strength Builder’. The TGU enhances and optimizes Rotator Cuff function by moving through a broad range of motion, all while firing and stabilizing the rotator cuff the entire time. The TGU fires the rotator cuff the entire time but also the weight bearing positions mean the scapular is building stability and strength. Just don't rush the TGU, move through each transition slowly and with control.
Windmill - Requires a dynamic range of motion, mobility, and stability. Rotator Cuff must constantly fire and stabilize the humeral head through the wide range of motion. It’s also great for the hip and spine strength and stability.
Russian HardStyle Swing - swing is fantastic for the rotator cuff. The entire time you are swinging the kettlebell, the rotator cuff is firing to stabilize the shoulder joint and maintain the ball of the shoulder in its socket.
By no means are these the only ones, these are just my favorites cause they warm me up well before training and have some great BANG for the buck!
If you have any questions comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org