Hail to the Dinosaurs!
We were talking about preserving and
protecting your shoulders last week,
and that reminded me of some things
that are awfully good for them.
They're tools that I use, and they're
tools that many Dinos use -- particularly,
many older Dinos. I've suggested them to
readers before, and whenever I do, I always
get emails a month or two later from someone
who says, "Took your advice -- and it
But they're also important tools for younger
Dinos. If you start using them NOW, your
shoulders will be in better shape when
So here they are:
1. The Dave Draper Top Squat
Many older trainees find it hard to
hold onto a squat bar when they do back
squats -- and some can't even get into
position to do the movement. Their
shoulders just aren't flexible enough.
So they end up doing front squats or
Trap Bar squats -- or skipping their
leg work -- or doing second and third
rate exercises like leg extensions or
Enter the Dave Draper Top Squat.
This is a simple device that fits onto
your barbell and allows you to hold the
bar in position with your hands out to
You're tight, solid and in complete
control -- and there's no problem
getting into proper position, even
if you have the tightest shoulders
in the world.
You can buy this direct from Dave Draper,
or order it from John Wood (who sells the
Top Squat under a license with Dave Draper).
To order from Dave Draper:
To order from John Wood:
2. Indian Clubs
Indian clubs are light (1 to 2 pound)
wooden clubs that look a little like
skinny bowling pins.
They were popular in the 1880's, 1890's
and early 1900's, and many of you my age
can recall seeing them lying around a
school gym or YMCA when you were young.
You use them to perform a variety of
shoulder exercises, using rotational
movements and moving the shoulder joints
through a wide range of motion.
They're not a strength builder. They're
a way to keep your shoulders loose,
flexible and supple.
Note that you do NOT need heavy clubs.
You want them light. One pound clubs
are plenty, and 1.5 pounders are also
good. Two pound clubs are as heavy as I
I started to use them on the advice of
Tommy Kono -- so you can say that this is
a Gold Medal Training Tip -- coming from
a two-time Olympic Gold Medal Winner and
six-time World Champion.
I use the clubs as a part of my regular
warm-up in every workout, and they work
Well, I'm 57, and I've had more than my
share of shoulder problems - starting with
a bad injury when I was a high school
wrestler 40 years ago.
But I can do squat snatches -- and that
requires pretty darn flexible (and strong
and health) shoulders.
And the Indian clubs have helped me do it.
I ordered my clubs from John Wood:
So there you have it. Two unique tools
to help preserve and protect your shoulders.
Grab them now. It will be like getting new
shoulders in a box.
Yours in strength,
P.S. I cover plenty of other tips about
preserving and protecting your shoulders
in Gray Hair and Black Iron and the Dinosaur
Military Press and Shoulder Power Course:
P.S. 2. My other books and courses are right
P.S. 3. Thought for the Day: "Treat your
shoulders right. They deserve it." -- Brooks