“Press at all costs” has been the name of the playbook for boulder shoulders for as long as men have lifted weights. But every now and then it is helpful to set it aside and try another approach. Temporarily suspending your use of the press will benefit you in two significant ways: It gives your joints a break from the heavy stuff, and it allows you to broaden your horizons with some fresh moves.
While undoubtedly effective, pressing can take a toll on the connective tissues of the shoulder joints. This is even more of an issue if you’re using a barbell, which tends to leave you fighting your body’s desired range of motion. Besides that, it can get a little dull after a while.
In this program, you’ll use moderate to heavy upright rows with a rope attachment at a cable station, which hold plenty of the same benefits but with a smoother, more natural range of motion. Then, after those more traditional sets, you’ll do high-volume, HIIT-inspired shoulder work using light dumbbells and battling ropes. The result is a complete, sweat-soaked routine that heavily taxes each of the three deltoid heads while also helping you get diced.
Fortune Raise Key
This shoulder gauntlet is a frequent go-to for fighters in the stable of boxer Manny Pacquiao’s trainer and strength and conditioning coach Justin Fortune (fortunegym.com). Shadowbox for 30 seconds holding dumbbells, focusing on throwing brisk, straight punches. Alternate with 30 seconds’ worth of dumbbell raises. Choose from this menu for the fortune raise to keep things fresh in each round.
|Straight to 45 degrees
*Keeping your back flat, lean forward at the waist and throw alternating punches at the ground.
**Hold a pair of dumbbells at full extension out to your sides, palms facing forward, arms forming a T with your torso. Elevate your arms overhead in a wide arc until the dumbbells touch, and then lower them along the same path, coming back to a T.