Hail to the Dinosaurs!
I've been getting a lot of questions about
shoulder issues -- dings, dents, exercises
that help, exercises that hurt, and possible
So I thought I'd cover some of the key points
in one email. For more on the topic, see Gray
Hair and Black Iron and The Dinosaur Training
Military Press and Shoulder Power Course.
1. Use light Indian clubs every day.
Light Indian clubs -- not heavy ones! Five or
ten minutes of light club work is great for
shoulder health -- especially if you work at
a computer or keyboard all day long.
I got this tip directly from Tommy Kono, so
I think of it as "gold medal" training advice.
I use my Indian clubs every day, and it
really helps -- as in, it keeps me squat
snatching at close to 60 years of age.
Get your clubs from John Wood:
2. Focus on overhead pressing.
Focus on overhead pressing rather than bench
pressing. Bench pressing is much harder on the
shoulders. Old-time lifters had fewer shoulder
problems than modern lifters, in part because
they did lots of overhead work and very little
bench pressing or similar movements.
3. Avoid the "stretch."
If you do dumbbell bench presses, dips or
other movements where you can go really
low and "stretch" the chest and shoulders,
be very careful -- and DON"T over-do the
stretch. That's where many shoulder injuries
4. Skip those McDonald Bar bench presses.
Bench press superstar Mike McDonald used a
special bench press bar in training. It allowed
a greater range of movement, i.e, a deep
stretch at the bottom. Don't do these --
they can hurt you. See point no. 3 above.
5. Stop doing the press behind neck.
This is a tough one for many of us, because
we grew up reading about Reg Park ramming
300 pounds overhead in the press behind neck.
The problem is, for many of us, the press behind
neck leads to shoulder problems. Military presses,
push presses and dumbbell presses are much
easier on the shoulders.
6. No machines!
Pullover machines and pec decs are certified
shoulder destroyers. This is especially true if
you "go for the stretch" when you do them.
7. No flies or pullovers.
Flies or pullovers can also lead to shoulder
problems. They're not very effective muscle
builders in any event, so why do them?
Note: I am referring to heavy pullovers.
Light, breathing pullovers after a set of
squats are okay because you use a very
light weight when you do them.
So there you have it -- seven tips for shoulder
health. I hope they help -- and I hope you keep
your shoulders healthy and strong for a very,
very long time.
See the links below for some Dino books and
courses that will help you build plenty of
strength and muscle while avoiding those
unnecessary dings and dents.
As always, thanks for reading and have a great
day. If you train today, make it a good one!
Yours in strength,
P.S. Gray Hair and Black Iron covers training for
older Dinos -- and if you're age 40 or older, you
need this book. It will help you enormously:
P.S. 2. Dinosaur Training Secrets, Vol. 1, and the
Dinosaur Training Military Press and Shoulder
Power Course are available in your choice of
hard-copy or Kindle e-book:
P.S. 3. Thought for the Day: "Shoulders are like knees.
You only have two of them, so take care of them."
-- Brooks Kubik