For this semester’s last Trainer’s Favorites, I wanted to do something as a sendoff. I am graduating in August but will be completing an internship over the summer. This will be my last trainer’s favorites and I wanted to showcase some of my skills. Here at ,Iowa State I have been studying Exercise Science. I have been personal training for 2 years now and have worked with 7 clients and currently train with 3 clients each week.
The muscle group that I will be covering is the shoulders. Your shoulders are something that you use every day. The shoulder joint is a ball and socket joint which means that the shoulder can move in multiple directions and rotate. Many people have strong shoulders, but they are not well rounded. People may have strong anterior (front) shoulder muscles but lack the same strength in their posterior (back) muscles. I recently went through a shoulder surgery in January to fix a torn labrum. Shoulders are not easily fixed overnight but are a process. A process that is well worth the time to move freely and pain free.
I’s, Y’s, and T’s
This is an easy movement but can be done poorly very easily. Start in a standing position with your arms at your sides. If you choose to have weight, make sure that you start light because the actual movement of this exercise is more important than the amount of weight you are lifting. We will start with “I’s,” as they are the easiest to complete. Some people call this movement a frontal raise, if that helps. What you do is bring your arms up straight in front of you. Once your arms hit parallel with the ground the move is complete. We want the thumbs to lead the way on all three of these exercises meaning that in the final position you will be giving a thumbs up. After you have reached this final position make sure to bring your arms down slowly and make sure that you are not using the momentum that you created for the next rep. This means coming to a complete stop at the beginning and end of each movement. Next, we are going to change to a “Y” movement. This movement is just like the I’s but your arms move out at an angle instead of straight out in front of you. These are a little more challenging than the I’s. The final one is a T movement and again very similar, but you will bring your arms out to the side. Some people call this movement a lateral raise. Make sure to always have your thumb leading the way.
This is a great movement to start with especially if you haven’t done much training of your shoulders recently. Remember to take it slow and work your way up.
Wall Walks With Hand Lift
For this movement, we will need a small circular band and a wall that is clear of anything hanging from it. Start by facing the wall in a standing position. Put your hands on the wall at shoulder height. Once you are here this is your beginning point and you’ll need to mark a return point to start working back at. Once you’ve don’t this move the hand closest to your return point out as far as it can go while keeping your elbows in. This will create tension in the band. Then bring your trailing hand closer to your leading hand. Make sure to keep a little tension on the band as you move down the wall. Complete these steps until you have reached your return point and return to the position you started at. After you reached your starting position keep tension in the band and start working your hands upwards on the wall. Walk them all the way up until your shoulders are fully flexed. Once in this position, raise one hand off the wall only using the shoulder. Do not rotate your body just lift the hand as far as it will go comfortably. This will be hard. After a pause at this point return the hand back to the wall and complete with the other hand and walk back down the wall. After you have completed this the movement is complete.
These suck, but they do a good job working your shoulders.
Shoulder taps are the hardest movement out of all of these. Make sure that you can do the other ones well before you move into this exercise. You’ll start out in a hand plank position. You may find it easier at first to start with your legs farther apart. Don’t worry you can bring them closer together as you practice this one. So plank position, without moving your hips or shifting your body weight bring one hand off the ground and bring it up to the opposite shoulder. Then return it back to the ground. After you have done this repeat it with the opposite hand.
Remember to take this one slow. Start with a wide base of support (feet spread apart) and work your way into a narrower position.
Your shoulders are important they help facilitate movement throughout the whole arm. We want to make sure that we have well-rounded shoulder muscles that we do not create any deficiencies within that region of the body. Give these exercises a chance and I hope they make your shoulders strong and help you to live a better life.