The human shoulder is made up of three bones the clavicle , the scapula , and the humerus.
1. Do Vertical Pressing Before Horizontal Pressing
If you are going to do some form of military press and some form of bench press in the same workout try doing the overhead work first. I have found this to be a great way to avoid pain and strengthen your shoulders. I cant explain exactly why but the overhead work just seems to prepare you better for the bench pressing variations. I have had numerous people try this (many of whom had pain with any form of benching with a bar or dumbbells) and they all reported feeling significantly better.
2. Begin the First Rep of Any Set of Military Presses with a Slight Leg Drive
You dont have to turn the whole set into push presses but you do want to use a slight leg drive to at least get the very first rep moving. The reason for that is because pressing the bar off your front delts from a dead stop with no momentum can be very stressful. Its the most stressful part of the entire rep. Unless you are competing in some kind of strict pressing contest Id recommend using the leg drive. If you have preexisting shoulder injuries you may want to do a slight push press on every rep.
3. At the End of Each Set of Military Presses You Do Hold the Bar in the Top Position
This is sometimes referred to as structural integrity work and can help strengthen, stabilize and bulletproof the shoulders. I recommend holding the bar up there at lockout (the joints are meant to lock and support load so forget about that myth that you should never lock out) for three to five seconds. On the last set of the day you could hold it up there for ten seconds or longer.
4. Use a Swiss Bar Instead of Straight Bar for Horizontal Pressing
The Swiss bar allows you to press with your palms facing in towards each other which is far more natural and a lot safer. If you train at home or some type of small warehouse gym I highly recommend ordering. I would ALWAYS make that my bar of choice if I were ever to bench press again.
5. Swap Out Bench Presses For Low Incline Presses
Most regular readers know by now that Im not a huge fan of the flat bench press. But I do like having big barbell movements in the program as indicator lifts. The low inline press, with the bench set to somewhere between fifteen and thirty degrees was a favorite chest exercise of six time Mr. Olympia, Dorian Yates. This variation hits the pecs more effectively and is less stressful on the shoulder. Even better is the low incline press with the Swiss Bar.
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At the wheel, lift your shoulders toward your ears. Squeeze tightly then drop on an exhalation. Repeat, then roll your shoulders up, back and down. Reverse the movement.