It’s likely we know someone who has a weak shoulder or just a shoulder problem of some sort, with the rotator cuff muscles using being the weak point. The shoulder joint itself is the most moveable joint in the body which means you have to be careful as it’s quite susceptible to injury.
Keeping strong shoulders will massively improve most aspects of your training, but keeping it mobile is key to preventing injury.
When most people think about conditioning exercises for the shoulder they probably think of some sort of rotational movement, whether it’s a Cuban rotation, lateral rotation or something else. Now there is nothing wrong with these, there’s just one that we think might trump them all – the bottoms up kettlebell press.
For this, you’ll need a reasonably light kettlebell (we’d advise the lightest you can to start) as keeping the bell static is difficult. You want to flip the kettlebell so the bell is pointing up, with you holding the handle. Keeping the shoulder in tight to your body and elbow in front press the kettlebell straight up, keeping the bell pointed to the sky. This might sound easy, but give it a try and you’ll soon realise it’s not quite as easy as it looks.
Using this move you will train your shoulder muscles to support a weight that isn’t balanced in a regular way and is also great for training your proprioception in the shoulder joint.
You can also add a squat to the movement. Hold the kettlebell point upwards, close to your shoulder. Squat, hold briefly (see image) and then power upwards, pushing the kettlebell upwards pointing to the sky.
Try doing 3 – 4 sets of 8 – 12 reps of this move, possibly at the beginning of your workout when you aren’t fatigued, and see how you get on! Just remember, keep it LIGHT and keep it CONTROLLED!