Workout Routines

Uncommon Exercises to Combat Training Problems

Mix up your workout moves to make your lifts stronger and ensure you don't get injured.

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The Problem: Reduced Shoulder Mobility

The Fix: Wall Slides

A rounded upper back also wreaks havoc on your shoulder range of motion. Try this: round your back as much as you can. Now, try to raise your arm over your head—it just doesn’t go up there! To obtain the “full” range of motion, it’s very common to lean backward—this gives the illusion of a full range of motion overhead press. This compresses your lower spine and can result in an injury down the road. As strength and conditioning coach Tony Gentilcore says, you need to earn the right to overhead press.

Also, with the rounded upper back posture, the upper back muscles (scapular retractors and stabilizers) are lengthened. This can result in what’s known as stretch-weakness, which results in muscle imbalances and faulty movement patterns.

The Wall Slide is a great exercise to address these issues. It challenges your ability to extend your thoracic spine, while bringing your shoulders backward into a more anatomically correct position. It also works on dynamic shoulder flexibility while strengthening your rotator cuff and scapular rotators and stabilizers.

How to Do It: Lean back onto a wall with your hips and shoulders touching. It’s common for your lower back to arch during this exercise, which rotates your pelvis forward. If your pelvis was a bucket of water, ensure no water spills out of the front or back by leveling your pelvis. The arch in your lower back should be small, just enough to pass a flat hand through. Brace your abs to maintain this posture. Place your arms on the wall alongside your head with your palms out. Press your arms into the wall and slide them up and down. Your arms should not lift off the wall during the exercise. Keep your abs braced throughout the exercise and keep your hips on the wall at all times. Perform 15 controlled reps for 3-5 sets.

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