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4 Drills That Build Strong & Healthy Shoulders Better!

power training

This past weekend’s Perform Better Summit in Long Beach marked the 4th weekend out of about 5 that I was fortunate enough to speak at a national conference. I view these opportunities seriously because they are the ways that I can make a real impact upon the fitness industry. So many times we complain there is a lot of  bad information being shared, this is the time we help bring the real science to so many fitness professionals, therapists, and strength coaches.

healthy shoulders

DVRT Master, Cory Cripe, helps me show a hip hinge drill that works the glutes, core, and even the shoulders in more efficient ways. 

My talks this year have largely focused around dispelling so many of the myths of mobility training and solving the real issues as well as helping people create instant solutions for clients. A great example is  trying to build healthy shoulders that can perform and feel great. Even in many professionals, healthy shoulders seem to be more and more of rarity.

While most think that strong and healthy shoulders should focus on treating the shoulder itself, we are missing the bigger picture. Our shoulder is usually the “victim” of other issues occurring in the body. Meaning that when we try to improve the performance or establish healthier shoulders we actually miss the other solution that is more permanent.

If it is so obvious why don’t more professionals know this information? This isn’t just a question I am throwing out there, but something that I hear from fitness professionals all the time. It makes sense, if this works so well why don’t more people do it?

As Jessica has pointed out to me, even physical therapists aren’t trained to look at true functional movement in school and it takes the more progressive ones to look at how we actually move in life and not the dissection table.

4 Drills That Build Strong & Healthy Shoulders Better!

Yea, we lost our way 100 years ago as this quote demonstrates. 

What are the keys in building stronger and healthy shoulders? For one, we have to remember that our entire body is a function of what happens from the ground up because as renowned physical therapist, Gary Gray says, “our core is from our toes to our nose.” Therefore, establishing a good connection to the ground is one of the most essential aspects of building strong and healthy shoulders which confuses a lot of people. The feet are connected to the shoulder? When we look at our connections, the answer is a strong YES!

4 Drills That Build Strong & Healthy Shoulders Better!

The fascial lines that experts like Thomas Meyers have described show the connection from the foot up the chain. Establishing that proper foot connection FIRST is very key!

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The power of understanding how our bodies are designed to move is our ability to create exercises that are more specifically designed to address how we function. A great example is a lift/chop that most people wouldn’t say works their #abs anything close to feeling like #situps or a #plank . Yet lifts/chops have been an integral part of the #physicaltherapy system of PNF for decades! Why? ——- Because our nervous system has to work with our muscles to create movement. The #core is suppose to be the connection of our lower body to our upper body. How do we connect? Lifts/chops are a great start. Add in the face that our opposite arm and leg are designed to work together like you see in walking and in this Ultimate #Sandbag version. ——— The Ultimate Sandbag allows us to develop tension by pulling apart the weight and the shoulder position allows us to connect to our lats and core. Being half kneeling as #DVRT master @seanlettero demonstrates let’s us focus on these connections but even more so makes him engage his feet! —— Engaging the feet is how we turn on the core from bottom up, tension in hands is how we do so top down. Adding in an XL @perform_better mini band allows us to give feedback on how to use the feet best! This is what we want #functionaltraining to be all about! #movementculture #coreworkout #ultimatesandbag #corestrength #sandbags #kettlebell #functionalfitness #mensfitness #fitforlife #sandbagworkout #mobility #warmup #absworkout #sandbagtraining #fms #personaltrainer #fitnesscoach #fitnessgoals#physicaltherapy

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DVRT Master, Sean Lettero shows how we start to build that connection by using a body position like half kneeling and using band tension to reinforce the feet creating stability from the ground up. 

We want to combine what is happening with the feet and what occurs with the hands. These are the connections to our outside world and lend us the opportunity to connect the chains of the body without overly complicated ideas.

healthy shoulders

Being active in the feet and hands can go a long ways to creating not only strong and healthy shoulders, but also goes for low backs and knees as these connections impact all 3 because of how we are connected. That is why the nuances of what I break down in this video is so important in transforming and exercise into a thoughtful movement for really making a difference in achieving those healthy shoulders.

These ideas can be progressed to really help those goals of better mobility, strength, and performance through keeping these concepts in more advanced environments. Strength Coach and DVRT Master, Joel Gunterman, shows 3 drills that will change how you think about building the strength and mobility in our shoulders.

Teaching these tension techniques are key, but so is the ability to teach our body to be more reflexive. After all, we don’t want to be “stiff” when we move in life, so when we compliment the diagonal patterns of lifts/chops to meet the connection of the shoulder with the core and opposing hip, we develop SMARTER core exercises.

A great example of how we accomplish this is through our Around the World drills. Yet, this is a drill in our DVRT system that is sorely misunderstood. That is why DVRT Master, Cory Cripe breaks down how to make what looks to be complex to be SO much better.

Why do we believe in these strategies so much? It is because we live them ourselves all the time! You can see from my pre-workout to post-workout (that is after the workout, NOT just the warm-up) how much better my shoulder mobility is and my pelvic positioning corrects itself.

healthy shoulders

There are other strategies that can work, however, most people fail to start with the obvious reasons we don’t have strong and healthy shoulders. Once we nail these concepts we can move to other avenues. However, even after presenting this weekend, I can tell you that many will miss the details of these movements that make them powerful. Before you wonder, “what else could I do?” start with being mindful of these principles and watch people improve so greatly!

Want to find out more about how we coach DVRT to make the impact that really makes a difference? Check out our upcoming DVRT certifications HERE and this VERY special one time workshop HERE that will forever how you see training and resiliency!

4 Drills That Build Strong & Healthy Shoulders Better!