How to Fix Rounded Shoulders (& Increase Your Pressing Strength)


What’s up guys? Jake Hutton from Fitness
Culture. Today’s topic is gonna be all about shoulder mobility. So, we’re really
gonna be going over how to improve your overhead position, but the stuff that
we’re gonna talk about really impacts a lot of your lifts, right? So the things
that we’re gonna do is gonna clean up your bench, make you a stronger bench
presser, and it’s gonna allow you to get overhead pain-free, and that’s the
biggest thing. So I get questions all the time, “Jake, you bench over 500
pounds. How do you have such good overhead mobility, and how do you lift so
much volume without your wrists hurting, your elbows hurting, but specifically
your shoulders hurting?” So, today we’re gonna show you the things that I
do and the things that you can do that are gonna help your shoulder mobility and
your overhead position. What are we doing all the time? Pressing a lot, right? A lot
of the guys that follow us, they want to get bigger upper bodies so we’re doing a
lot of pressing, even a lot of pulling, a lot of pull-ups, things like
that. And they’re not doing anything to work on the tissue around it. Brody here.
We started him working out again, he’s working out all the time, he’s
our marketing guy. What does he do after he comes and works out? He goes and sits
at a desk, and then what happens? He just gets stuck in this position, he tears
up all this muscle tissue, and he heals in this position. He spends a lot of time
like this. And so that happens with a lot of people. It’s probably the worst thing
you can possibly do, sitting. We all know that sitting is probably one of
the worst things you can do. And so we need to fix that bad posture to be able
to press overhead pain-free. So the biggest thing here, and even Brody a
little bit here, you’re seeing a little bit of an anterior tilt in his shoulder
right here, and that’s because of those things. Sitting all the time, his
chest is probably a little bit tight, his lats are a little bit tight, and it’s
pulling everything down and forward. And the biggest way to
fix this is, number one, you need to address the mobility in the area. And
that’s one thing that a lot of guys don’t go over. These exercises that we’re
going to show you today, it’s gonna be so hard to do and you’re gonna get defeated
when you try to do them if you don’t have the mobility to get through the
range of motion. What you really want to do is try to squeeze your low trap down
and back and then externally rotate the shoulder a little bit. And that’s
obviously gonna be good posture right here. And then from there when you
press overhead you can press pain-free. So, the goal when you set up is always
going to be, I mean even when you’re just standing, is to turn those upper traps
off. So when you stand, a lot of guys you’ll see, they start getting these huge traps and they start getting into this position,
their traps are just always turned on. You want your traps
to be relaxed when you’re standing. If you look at someone from the side, and
then from there your upper back is erect, your shoulder blades are turned on a
little bit, meaning your lower traps are turned on to give you that correct
posture, and then when you press you’re gonna want to externally rotate the
shoulders a little bit. And from there, so we always say squeeze your shoulder
blade down and back before you set up, and that’s basically in any movement.
Squat, bench, anything. You’re gonna squeeze your shoulder blade down and
back and then from there you’re in a good pressing position for anything you
do. Another reason that’s good, strengthening this lower trap muscle
right here, is bringing that shoulder blade in, is really how you’re gonna
stabilize your shoulder joint, especially in the bench press. You always see
guys do this huge arch on the bench. Really what they’re trying to
do, most of them, is squeeze their shoulder blades down and back so much
that it’s setting their shoulder in a really stable position. So if I’m here
just relaxed, my shoulder is gonna be all over the place. You see guys
bench that aren’t set up and that’s a plateau buster, really.
One of the reason guys hit plateaus is because they don’t set their shoulder
blades down and back, and they’re all over the place. So by setting your
shoulder blades down and back you’re gonna be in the most stable position and
the strongest position to press through too. So like I said, all these things
we’re gonna talk about today, they’re not only just gonna help you press overhead
pain free, but they’re also gonna help you increase your bench, increase your
dumbbell pressing power, everything. First thing we need to address is
your mobility. So the first thing we’re gonna do is look at Brody, we’re gonna
test just a simple Y raise mobility test, see where he’s looking. But then we’re
gonna just show you guys some things you can do to help improve your mobility. The
mobility test we’re gonna go over today is just a simple incline bench
Y raise, so it’s gonna look like this. You’re gonna set up the bench, set
with your knees on the bench. From there, your arms are gonna hang out,
thumbs are just gonna point away from your face straight ahead. From
there, what we’re gonna do is squeeze those shoulder blades down and back into
this position. Flex your triceps and then raise your hands as high as you can.
All right, so ideally your arms are gonna come up past your ears. Even Brody,
though, would pass this test in my book. But a lot of people, you’ll see that have
really a lot of shoulder pain and have a hard time pressing overhead, I mean, I
tested a guy the other day that was stuck right here. Do this first, see where
you’re at. It’s just kind of gonna be a measure of how good your shoulder
mobility is right now. And you can kind of assess it from there and then we’ll
move onto the mobility stuff. So the first thing we’re gonna do is we’re
gonna go over a roller routine. First thing’s gonna be your serratus. Start on the roller and just roll back and forth basically through your rib cage right here. You can also roll and raise your hand up while you’re doing it. From there you’re gonna
roll over and just hit your lat, all the way through and it’s gonna be really
uncomfortable. Especially over your scapula into your armpit right here. If
you’re having a ton of pain just work through it, the pain’s gonna go away at
some point. Alright, so then from there we’re gonna work onto the tricep. I
usually just start with my arm out here, and then grab my arm behind my head and
roll all the way through it. And from there I turn over into my back just a
little bit and just try to roll out my trap. And then from there I come over
to my chest and just finish off with my chest. So just start with my arm out
like this, and then I’ll transition my arm behind my body like this. So
the first mobility thing that I’m going to show you is probably my favorite
stretch of all time. You can relax in it and it really just
helps correct your posture and it opens up your whole upper body. Start by just
assessing where your pain tolerance is. If you’re really, really tight then you’re gonna want to just sit back on the roller with your head on
the roller, your butt on the bottom of the roller, and just basically relax like
this. If your forearms are easily touching the ground, you feel relaxed, and you’re
not feeling any tension, then from there you can grab some weight.
Once you can do this with no pain, then we’re gonna move on to the weight. So I
just grabbed 45 pound plates. And then from there you’re basically
gonna, I mean for me it’s almost the same thing right now so I’m not getting any
stretch, but you’re just gonna push out with the plates so that you’re on your
forearms, and then from there you’re gonna drive your elbows into your sides
like this, and that’s really gonna open up your chest. Alright, the
next thing that I do is go into a band mobility routine. Grab a heavy band, and
what I like to do, just wrap your hand around just like that, and that way
you’re not gripping it, and you can totally relax. Start off by just hanging straight
back, just letting that hang out, just relaxing. So then I’ll step my foot
forward, poke my head through the window, and now I’m feeling a great stretch. The
next thing is gonna be to get your chest, so externally rotate, point your thumb to
the sky, step away, and stretch like that. And I
usually work more external rotation while I’m stretching. I try to press into
it and then come back down. Externally rotate. From there we’re gonna
work shoulder behind the back. Try to keep your core nice and tight. By doing this it’s gonna allow you to get better activation in these exercises that I’m
about to show you. So now that we’re done with the mobility, I’m going to show you
our 10 favorite exercises to work your external rotators and your low traps and
upper back. You’re not gonna be able to use a ton of weight on these, so
they’re great to superset with your bench or any pressing movement that
you’re doing, dumbbell bench, any overhead pressing that you’re doing. If
you don’t have the mobility, this is where you need to start. We took just two
small bands, the mini bands, and we looped them together. After you loop it on, you’re
gonna put it right around your palms like this, and then you’re gonna set up
into position. Let your head get down to the floor press, your thumbs to the sky,
get a nice Y position. And then from there you squeeze your shoulder blades
down and back, and then you’re gonna alternate. You’re
gonna press out and then go up to the sky, and spend three seconds getting
as high as you can. We usually do about three sets of this and then just five
reps each arm. So really focus on a lot of tension at the top, really squeeze
it up there for three seconds at least, and then come back down. Alright guys, the next exercise we’re gonna go over is just a trap three raise. On this one you’ll set
up back nice and flat, put your
forehead on your arm. You want to keep your forehead connected to your hand the
entire time, focus on this area right here. From there you’re gonna point your
thumb straight out. You’re gonna squeeze your shoulder blade down and back. And then from there you’re gonna lock at the tricep,
and then raise it above your head. Squeeze for three, two, one, good. Then
come back down. If you try to go heavy on this one it’s gonna be really hard and
you’re not gonna able to it as high. Really, you want full range of motion on
these. None of this, you know? Take your time, and then squeeze it. Once it
gets up there, you don’t want to swing it up at all. That’s gonna defeat the whole
purpose of this movement. The next exercise is gonna be an incline bench Y raise, so this is actually the same exercise that we use to test the
overhead mobility. So you’re gonna set up on a bench, legs on the bench just like
this, head in a neutral position. Let your shoulders out, then you’re gonna squeeze
your shoulder blades down and back. And then from there you’re gonna raise
overhead. Make sure you’re using those lower traps to shrug everything down into
position, head’s neutral, arms are straight. And then really squeeze it at the top.
We usually do three to four sets of six to ten reps, and then we change the
time under tension at the top, so it might be three seconds, might be a six second
hold, just whatever we’re doing for that week. The next exercise is just a dumbbell external rotator off your knee. Sit down on the ground, try to
slide your heel close to your butt. It really depends on your anatomy, but
that’s just gonna raise your knee up and get your elbow and your arm at the angle
that we want it. So we want it up nice and high at a nice 90 degree angle right
here. And from there you’re gonna come all the way down, try to face your knee
just like Brody is here. So this is a great exercise for external rotators. If
you’re having a hard time just getting into this position, if you lack mobility
getting this position, you can also do it basically on a bench. All right, the next
one’s gonna be a Cuban press. So on the Cuban press you want to set up so that your hands are wide enough that you’re about 90 degrees when you row up. Your
elbows at 90 degrees right here. So you’re gonna start, squeeze your shoulder blades down and back. You’re gonna row it up, keeping that bar nice
and tight to your body, get it up as high as you can. From there, like you could go
a little bit wider with your hands here. And then from there we’re gonna
row it up, keeping your elbows nice and high, press to the sky, and I usually like
to add a little shrug at the top as well, just get a little
extra work in there. Then come back down. You’re gonna control it down with your
elbows nice and high, and then back down. So the biggest mistake we’re gonna see
on this one is people going to heavy, and when they rotate, their elbows are just
dropping and they’re pressing it out. So make sure that elbow is stuck
right here and it’s just rotating in the same spot. All right, this next movement is
gonna be the band pull apart. So you have probably done this one before. What
you’re gonna do is set up, grab a light band, lock out your triceps. You’re
gonna be right about shoulder width. You want to maintain tension the entire time on the band, so we’re not coming back in and losing tension. We’re gonna maintain
tension the entire time. You’re gonna shrug your shoulders away from your ears,
and now you’re gonna pull the band apart across your chest, squeeze, and then come
back in. Keep tension, shrug down, good. The next one’s gonna be
an incline bench. We just call this a W to Y press, and you’ll see why in a second.
So you’re gonna set this one up on a little bit less of an incline here.
You’ll initiate the movement the same way, just make sure your squeeze your
shoulder blades down and back. From there you’re gonna row your elbows up, straight up. You’re gonna come into a nice W, rotate, you’re gonna press out to
a Y, extend all the way. And you’re gonna come back down, elbows down. And then
control back down and then back all the way out. The next move we’re gonna show
you is going to be the YTW on a TRX. You can also use rings. The biggest thing on this one is make sure that you’re not standing too far under the bar, or it’s
gonna get really, really heavy. So start off standing almost
straight up, see how it feels, and then if you can keep perfect form, then you can
work your way down on this one. So you’re gonna start with the Y. We want to focus on keeping our arms completely straight, flex the tricep, and from there
you’re gonna squeeze your shoulder blades down and back, and then come into
a nice Y position. Control it on the way down. And then from there we’re going to go into a T. And then from there we’re gonna go into
a W. Squeeze it back into W. So since one rep is really like three
reps, we usually cut these off at a set of five on the YTWs. Alright guys, the
next movement is going to be a single arm cable wire raise. So you really want to
focus on your body positioning on this one. It’s not about going heavy, it’s about
doing it right. So the biggest thing here, you’re gonna split your stance The arm
opposite that forward foot. And then from there you’re going to focus on keeping your chest up, but at the same time you’re gonna squeeze
your ribcage down to your belly button. So that’s gonna set your core
in place. From there you’re gonna squeeze that back glute. Nice and
tight, everything’s tight here, so you’re not gonna compensate with your low back.
And then from there, everything’s tight, you’re gonna squeeze your shoulder blade
down and back, and then raise it overhead, elbows straight. Raise it up, core tight, core tight, glutes squeeze, and then come back down, good.
Perfect movement on this one. It’s not fast. So this one we usually just do
about six reps on each arm. Alright guys, you’ve probably done this one before. The next one’s gonna be a face pull. I usually do this a little bit different
than most people. I like to flip my hands to grab like this on the rope or the
straps. So basically your palms are facing each other like this. From there,
what that’s gonna allow you to do is keep your elbows a little bit higher, and
on the way back you’re gonna externally rotate and
finish with your hands right here. So you’re getting the pulling and the
external rotation all the way through. So you’ll start out here, squeeze your
shoulder blades down and back, pull, squeeze at the back. Really focus,
try to get your hands past your ears. The last exercise on our list is one that
you probably see everyone doing in any gym around the world, but it does work great,
so we threw it on the list, is gonna be a standing cable external rotator.
So on this one you’re gonna set up with your palm at your stomach, grip that
handle. From there get your shoulder in a nice position, try to pin that elbow next
to your side, and then you’re just gonna rotate out to the side. We never really
go that heavy. We only do higher reps on this one, sets of 20, stuff like that. So
that wraps it up with our favorite exercises. I hope that all that information that we gave you today is helpful and you can start using
it with your clients or with yourself and your own training. So we’re
gonna post a link in the description on how we would pair the mobility and all
these exercises within an actual day of exercise, so if you want
to check that out click the link and download it. Appreciate you guys for watching, and stay tuned for next time.

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