Most guys tend to favour pressing exercises, like the bench press and shoulder press, over any other movements.
We also tend to gravitate toward shoulder injuries.
So why not, then, start investing a little time in preventing the kinds of injuries that end up preventing so many of us from doing our favourite exercises?
Watch the video above to see David Reavy, a Chicago-based physical therapist and the owner of React Physical Therapy, demonstrate what he calls the scap complex—a circuit of three exercises designed to strengthen the muscles surrounding the shoulder, improve range motion, and, ultimately, help prevent debilitating shoulder injuries.
“What this does is open up the pec and activate the lower trap,” Reavy says.
Not only will this complex help improve your shoulder longevity over the long run, it will boost your pressing performance in the short term, too.
“Try this before your upper-body workouts, it’s going to make a big difference,” Reavy says.
Just be sure to pay attention to your form. “Be careful not to let that upper trap work; you want to keep those shoulder blades down,” says Reavy. You’ll want to perform each rep deliberately with control, focusing on that mind-muscle connection.
Don’t have a resistance band? No problem; you can get away with using a towel for this one. The further apart you place your hands, the easier it will be.
Hit this one before your next pressing workout—Reavy recommends doing 30 reps of each movement—and see how it impacts your training!
By Dean Stattmann