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Improve Your Shoulder Health Through Pressing

It might be the time, I knew it would eventually come. I have officially lost my mind! I am here telling you that the BEST way to help your shoulders is by learning how to press. No, not work on more rear delt exercises, or even isolated scapular control drills. I want you to press to help your shoulder health and strength.

Why does this crazy thought process actually make sense? It is OPPOSITE of what so many people say on the internet so am I just trying to be controversial? Nope, I’m just giving you the fastest and most effective way to improve your shoulder health.

shoulder health

Of course if you are coming out of some surgery I would suggest you work with your doctor and therapist first. However, if you are battling chronic shoulder issues, this information will be genuinely game changing!

That is because most people don’t understand the true intent of pressing. Whether it is pressing overhead or horizontally, these movements often get labeled as shoulder or chest exercises and this immediately puts our shoulder health at risk!

What is the real point of pressing? It is to teach our body to create full body tension from the ground up. How does that help our shoulder health? The shoulders actually sit above our trunk, hips, and lower body. That means in life, our shoulders have a close relationship with the rest of our body. We all know that any sort of weak foundation will cause compensation.


You can see through Thomas Myers fascial lines how our foot connects up through a series of muscles up to our shoulders and even our neck!

The REAL point of pressing is to create that tension down into the ground to create a strong chain reaction up the body. The feet create strength in the glutes, the glutes help create stability in the pelvis with the core, and the core creates a platform for the shoulders to optimally perform and move. Yes, you got it, our body is NEVER isolated!

So, how do we begin to teach these concepts? It all begins from the ground and goes up! Megan Berner of Fitness Lying Down helps break down on of the best DVRT exercises to teach these concepts and transform how people feel about their shoulder health and exercises!

The concepts that Megan discusses in going overhead are the same one’s we want to teach when we push horizontally. One of the big reasons we favor push-up type movements over a standard bench press is due to how we can engage the whole body more and teach these important connections.

What I want you to really see is how our shoulders are so interconnected to how we use our hands and feet. That by using the structures that have over half the bones in our body (hands and feet) as well as where force enters our body, we actually learn how to use our rotator cuff, serratus, and all the shoulder stabilizers in the correct way. Not only use the muscles themselves smarter, but using them a one synergistic unit. That is why we focus on functional training, so that we learn these lessons.

This changes how we perform many of our more popular DVRT exercises like our lateral drags. You can see by the video above, Ara moves the Ultimate Sandbag in both instances, however, HOW he moves the weight is important and is very different!

That is why too we see certain exercises as not that productive like Jessica shows. Sure landmines sound like a good idea, until we realize the weight gets lighter as we press upwards taking stress off the core and our lower body. That means while the movement may not bother us, we are not actually working on qualities that will help our shoulder health and performance in the long run. Instead, Jessica shows 3 better alternatives focusing on creating tension by pulling apart the Ultimate Sandbag, creating a tight grip, and emphasizing the feet!

Does this ACTUALLY work? Check out this great testimonial by Lina Midla who recently attended our DVRT workshop by Cory Cripe!

“Pressing Overhead the DVRT Way
Who knew that when done probably, pressing overhead doesn’t have to hurt your shoulders – and you feel it MORE in your butt and core than in the upper body! .
As my friend, mentor, and Master DVRT Instructor Cory Cripe would say: “Pressing is a TOTAL BODY exercise – not an arms-only one.” .
????I know, mind totally blown ????
It was incredible to press overhead with BOTH hands for the first time in a really long time and feel fierce AF doing it! What once tweaked my shoulder – felt strong, powerful, and (most importantly) made me feel more connected to my WHOLE body than I’d ever felt pressing before.
Next time you’re ready to “raise the roof” – errrr the weights overhead, ask yourself the following:
(1)Are my feet pushing the floor away forcefully? (2)Is this creating the strong tension I need in my lower body – legs totally straight, hips extended fully, butt muscles on?
(3)Am I bracing through my core?
(4)Are my lats on?
(5)Is my exhale helping to drive the weight overhead?
This is only the tippy-tip of the iceberg my friends, but I hope this little peak into my world of constantly upleveling my own fitness knowledge and experience shows you that the only way to move forward in upleveling your personal fitness & wellness – is to invest in learning from others who are ahead of you on the path.”

That’s pretty powerful and shows that we aren’t teaching you “sandbags” we are teaching you movement strategies that will transform how you move and perform. It is results and concepts like this that motivate us to keep bringing true movement strength training education to you!

Find out more in our upcoming DVRT Workshops HERE and DVRT Certifications HERE and see how fast we get people moving and performing their best!