I’ve loved pressing things over my build for years, but as a meathead in a smaht guys’ clothes, I wound up creating some nasty shoulder issues a few years back that are now just starting to feel normal again. As a result, I’ve become really careful with any kind of pressing movements as they tend to wreak havoc on the shoulder.
Why do they do that, you may ask? Because in order to press copious poundages over your build, you have to have a couple of very necessary ingredients:
- Thoracic mobility
- Core stability
- Scapular stabilization capacity to help the scapula rotate and not tilt or swing
- Rotator cuff strength
- Cervical strength and stability
The downside is that most people don’t have ample enough of any of these to press overhead properly without getting the shoulders completely trashed like a Motley Crue hotel room.
This is why I like using the variation of a kettlebell press in the bottom up position. I’ll show it to you here.
Holding the weight in this position does a couple of things. First, you have to have the stability to press it, or it will sway and fall all over the place. Many people with shoulder stability issues say they feel their grip is the limiting feature, which is true. Kinda.
The grip tends to be weaker in positions where the shoulder stability is compromised. This means that when the arm is moved away from the side, grip strength tends to decrease. As the arm is pressed up, if shoulder stability isn’t there, the weight is gonna come crashing down harder than Honey Boo Boo in her teenage years.
That’s what I like about this exercise: You can’t cheat, it takes minimal cueing or coaching to do, and it works on building stability through the shoulder in a way that can’t be matched otherwise. The weight will be limited to the weakest link of the system, not merely elevated to the ability to compensate and find a way to be successful in simply completing the movement.
To give an idea of my own stability, I can press a 24 kg kettlebell with my right arm, but only a 16 kg one with my left arm. That’s right, I suck that badly at life.
This won’t replace heavy heavy weights where you’re throwing around more wheels than a winter tire dealer on the first snow storm, but it will help you build some strength through the shoulder so that when you do want to press it into the aiyer like you just don’t caiyer, you’ll be able to do so without searing and crippling pain, or at least just a little bit less.
Also, for anyone who was kind enough to give some advice in my last post on what I should do next for educational resources, I wanted to share what I’m hoping to do. I had some great feedback and suggestions from everyone, but I decided to give the Postural Restoration Institute a go. There were two people who suggested this, but after a coin flip, I decided to follow the coin much like Harvey Dent, and will give Amir the winner’s hoodie. I’ll shoot you an email later today to get some mailing details from you and hook you up.
As for the rest of you, I am definitely greatful for your input and wilingness to share so many different educational options and ways to help improve myself. You guys and gals are awesome, incredibly sexy, and well versed in the ways of the world. Kudos, slow clap, and all that jazz.