Your Guide to Bulletproof Shoulders

CrossFitters know that strong shoulders are essential for our performance. We are constantly taxing our shoulders through gymnastics, Olympic lifting, and our pressing movements. So what could someone expect from adding extra shoulder work to their regular CrossFit routine?

1. Enhance Stability Overhead.
2. Increase Range of Motion.
3. Improved Gymnastics Kip/Pull-ups.
4. Increased work capacity in pressing movements.
5. Improved confidence in barbell cycling and overhead movements.

All of those things sound great but how much extra work do I need to do to see these results? The answer is 20-30 minutes, 4 days/week! That means coming a little early or sticking around after class to add in some extra volume. Here are my three favorite accessory shoulder exercises.

1. Half-Kneeling Filly Press-
Made famous by former CrossFit games athlete, Marcus Filly, this exercise requires one dumbbell and one kettlebell. The kettlebell will remain in the front rack position, while the dumbbell will be pressed overhead. The rack hold is a great way to work on scapular endurance while building pressing strength in the opposing arm. On top of taxing your shoulders, adding the kneel requires a ton of core stability as well!

2. Barbell Sots Press-
The overhead squat is one of the most difficult exercises for some of us. The intent of the Sots press is to improve mobility in the ankles, hips, thoracic spine and shoulders. As a bonus, this exercise has a big impact on your balance, overhead and back extension strength, and trunk stability.

3. Snatch Balance-
The basic technique is relatively simple. Barbell starts on the back similar to a back squat with your hands in a snatch width grip. After a quick dip and drive with the legs, drop and catch the barbell in a full overhead squat position. As you would guess, this movement is fantastic for athletes needing to build confidence and skill in the bottom of the snatch. Just the habit of holding a much heavier load overhead will improve your confidence and strength in the snatch. Keep the load light at first and build as you become more confident overhead and in the movement!

Shoulders holding you back? Email me at [email protected] to set up a goal review session and discuss ways to start implementing these elements!