Exercises like the barbell overhead press or the military press are incredible muscle and strength builders for the shoulders, but not everyone’s body agrees with them. Could the irritation you experience be from doing them all wrong? Absolutely. Could you have poor mobility or imbalances that are causing the problem? Absolutely.
Instead of trying to figure all of that out just so you can press a bar over your head—you can simply go the lower risk routes. Here’s one of many workout options you can do to increase muscular size and strength—and do it comfortably. (Well, not too comfortably. You should still be working hard.)
The barbell-free shoulder workout
When you stand up straight and you arms are at your side, your palms naturally face in. That’s how you will execute every exercise.
Zeroed in on shoulders. (w/ @mike_simone) #humanfitproject @rrp_hfp #161 1. Heavy Partial Rep Side Raises 3×6 2. Neutral-grip DB Press 3. Cable Pull-apart 4. Cable Side Lateral Raise 5. Thumbs-up Slow DB Front Raise 6. Slow DB Side Lateral Raise Complete 10-12 reps of each exercises for 3-5 sets unless otherwise noted. Rest 30-60 seconds between sets. * The purpose of the heavy partials here is to “wake up” the shoulders with something different. Keep constant tension on the muscles throughout the entire movement. You might be surprised to see just how much blood gets pumped in there.
1. The partial rep side raises allow you to go heavy without overextending yourself. Just make sure to keep the tension on your muscles throughout the entire movement. Think of this more as a static contraction exercise.
2. Neutral-grip dumbbell presses are in that friendlier position for the joint.
3. Cable pull-aparts allow you to focus on the rear delts while keeping constant tension, plus the ability to slightly adjust your arms and body to get in comfortable positions.
4. Cable side raises target the side delts with similar benefits as the cable pull-parts.
5. Thumbs-up dumbbell front raises target the front delt with the friendly, natural, neutral position.
6. Slow dumbbell side raises target the side delts again like the cable side raises and the partials. The slow eccentrics will act as a nice finisher.