Three Great Exercises to Help Prevent Potential Shoulder Impingement Injuries

Shoulder impingement injuries are one of the most common causes of shoulder pain. Shoulder impingement happens when the bones of the shoulder press and rub against the tendons and ligaments of the shoulder over a period of time, causing inflammation and ultimately pain. It’s caused by poor posture from any sort of repeated overhead activity, such as swimming, lifting, tennis, and other sports involving repetitive overhead motion.

The answer to preventing potential shoulder impingement injuries is proper posture during exercise. Paying careful attention to each move you make during exercise is a habit you should develop. Above all, strengthening the muscles supporting the shoulders should be as important to you as all the crunches you do to get that six pack.

You can build up the muscles surrounding the shoulders by trying out these three exercises to help prevent potential shoulder impingement injuries.

 1. Push-Ups for the Serratus Anterior Muscle Group:

Standard push-ups are a great way to strengthen the muscle group lining the front and sides of your rib cage, called the serratus anterior muscle group. These muscles help keep your shoulder blade and shoulder joint stable so they move smoothly.

1. Perform the standard push up as follows:

2. Get down on your hands and knees. Plant your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and keep them aligned with the shoulders. Extend your legs out one at a time, with your feet a bit less than hips’ width apart.

3. Activate your abs and your glutes. This ensures you’re keeping your body in a straight line.

4. Look up slightly ahead of you rather than facing the ground.

5. At the top of the pushup, your arms should be straight. Keep your shoulder blades slightly engaged, but not so much that you impede normal movement.

6. While inhaling, steadily lower yourself to the ground until your elbows are bent at 90 degrees.

7. Hold this position for one or two seconds.

9. Exhale and push back upward. Keep your body in a straight line, with the glutes and abs active. Do not lock your elbows at the top of the pushup.

10. Check your form and repeat for a total of 10 reps.

Related: Benefits of starting a weighted pull-up

A simple variation on the pushup is the plank, which is nothing more than holding yourself in the upper pushup position for several seconds. Start on your hands and knees. Move one leg back, then the other, and activate your abs and glutes. Look forward slightly. Return to your hands and knees. Repeat this cycle.

2. Standing or Seated Dumbbell Presses for the Deltoids:

The deltoids help keep the arm bone in the shoulder socket, helping it glide downward and maintain the space in the shoulder socket arch. Standing dumbbell presses are perfect for strengthening the deltoids. Dumbbells are great to use for several reasons, their versatility being first and foremost.

To do a standing press with dumbbells:

1. Ground yourself by grasping the ground with your toes as though you could gather up the floor with your feet.

2.Draw your kneecaps up toward your hips.

3. Activate your glutes without straining. Your pelvis is now in the neutral position.

4. Curve your spine slightly.

5. With the dumbbells held at shoulder height on either side of your head, inhale and bring the dumbbells up above your head. As you bring the dumbbells up, straighten your back until the dumbbells are directly overhead.

6. Do so for 10 to 12 reps.

You can either lift the dumbbells with palms forward like a bar lift or with the palms facing inward. One variation combines the two positions by starting with the dumbbells at shoulder height, palms facing in, and then rotating them up as you press the dumbbells over your head until your palms are facing forward.

Related: Compound exercises vs Isolated Exercises

3. Strengthen the Supraspinatus Rotator Cuff with Angle Raises:

Completing our workout of the muscles and structures that support the shoulder is the angle raise, which strengthens the supraspinatus rotator cuff and helps the head of your arm bone to move freely without putting pressure on the tendons and other structures that run through the shoulder socket.

To do angle raises:

1. Stand with your feet hip width apart and your hands at your sides. Ground your feet, pull your kneecaps up towards the hips, and activate your glutes.

2. Raise your right arm up until it is level with the shoulders. It should be at a 45 degree angle between your front and the side of your body.

3. As you raise the arm, rotate it until the thumb points down when you reach the level of the shoulders.

4. Lower the arm. Repeat for 10 to 12 reps on the right side.

5. Perform the same process with the left arm.

If your aim is to prevent potential shoulder impingement injuries, these three exercises designed to stabilize and strengthen the muscles of the shoulder will do the trick.

Tricep Pushdowns: Utilizing Cable Pressdowns To Build Bigger Arms

Executing Triceps Pressdown With a Rope

The triceps are a major muscle group of the human body. It’s what enables you to extend and contract the forearm. When you extend and straighten your arm, the triceps engage. The tricep pressdown is an exercise that can help you strengthen the back of your arms, making the triceps pressdown one of the most effective triceps exercises when it’s properly executed in a solid exercise routine.

Tricep Basics – What are the Triceps?

When you straighten your elbow and extend your forearm, you are contracting the group of muscles known as the triceps. When you flex your biceps and release the triceps, the elbow bends and you can have a sip of that beverage you’ve been holding while you read this article. Just like deadlifts will strengthen your core, the triceps also play an important role in stabilizing your shoulder joints. The shoulder, though an amazing piece of human architecture, is relatively unstable by itself. The triceps is a key component of ensuring stability in the shoulder joint.

If you work out your biceps, you have to work the triceps, too, to balance the workout and ensure overall stability of the arm, elbow, and shoulder joint. The triceps comprise nearly two-thirds of your upper arm, making them a larger muscle group than the biceps. They are important for doing just about any activity you can think of, from doing pushups to carrying out the garbage.

Plus, you will never have the big arms you want unless you show the triceps the same kind of love you show to your biceps and your forearms.

Properly Executing the Triceps Pressdown:

The triceps pressdown is exactly what it sounds like: An exercise using resistance of some type in which you press down toward the ground against the resistance, then release back up to the starting position for a full rep. The triceps pressdown works the entire triceps group, and there are several ways to perform the pressdown, depending on whether you have a gym with a cable station and bar attachment handy, or whether you’re going to be doing this at home using exercise bands or resistance cables. The principles are the same.

For the purposes of this article, we’ll be describing how to execute the triceps pressdown using the bar attachment on a cable station.

First, a couple of notes: As large as the triceps are, they’re surprisingly easy to injure if you don’t follow proper form. During the pressdown you’ll keep your upper arms and elbows firmly pressing into the side of your upper body. It’s likewise important to avoid locking the elbows out as you perform the pressdown.

Related: Unisex bodyweight workout program

Here’s how to do the triceps pressdown:

  1. Stand with your feet about hip width apart. Ground yourself by focusing your attention on the center of your feet and grasping with your toes slightly, as though you could grab the floor through your shoes with your toes.
  2. Draw your kneecaps up toward your up your thighs toward your waist. Tighten your glutes.
  3. Keep your body erect. Imagine a line running straight through the crown of your head to the floor between your feet, pulling gently upward to keep you upright and properly aligned.
  4. Grasp the bar with both hands about shoulder-width apart, palms out. Inhale from the belly. In one motion as you exhale through the press:
    1. Pull the bar down to chest level, keeping your feet grounded and glutes and abs engaged.
    2. Keeping the elbows firmly against the sides of your upper body, press the bar all the way down to the tops of your thighs.
  5. Hold at the bottom of the press down for 3 seconds. Then, inhale as you allow the bar to raise back up to chest height and so to its starting position. Do not let it spring up. For maximum effect, allow the bar to come up slowly.

Related: How to do the military press rightly?

Repeat this cycle until you have performed 10 to 12 repetitions. Rest and do another set. Add a third and you’ll have done a great triceps workout. Two triceps workouts a week are enough to get them – and keep them – in top shape.

Scott Herman Fitness does a good job of breaking down the tricep pressdown with proper form in the instructional video below.

If you’re using exercise bands or cables, follow the instructions for securing one end of the band/cable above your head, then follow the above procedure to properly execute the triceps pressdown.

Related: 7 Benefits of Weighted Pull-ups

You can also do one-arm pressdowns easily with bands or cables. The process is the same, except you’ll perform the exercise first on the right side, observing proper form, and then on the left side. A set is 10 to 12 reps on each side.

It’s recommended that you alternate biceps and triceps workout days to avoid injury and get maximum benefits from the workout.

Related: Best Weighted Vest for 2018 – Take your fitness to the next level

Now that you know how to properly execute the triceps press down, try supplementing them with pushups, pullups, and other exercises to stabilize your shoulders and give you the upper body strength and flexibility you’ve been after.