Shoulder Flexibility and Strength

Assessing things.

Flexibility checkIt all started last week when Alberto mentioned the unusually named YTWLs. Whilst googling to find out exactly what these were I stumbled across the article '8 weeks to monster shoulders' by Alwyn Cosgrove and Chad Waterbury on T-nation. A good read.

Flexibility checkTrying out the flexibility tests - particularly the one involving touching fists behind the back (or coming somewhere near it) I discovered that a) I'm not equally flexible on each shoulder, and b) it's much more painful doing the left arm over / right arm under test. I suspect I'll need to address this difference before adding any real strength to the shoulders.

The pain (only whilst doing the test) is at the base of the right anterior deltoid, and there are several ways to stretch this (Exrx proves its worth yet again). My current thinking is to add a little deltoid stretching to the end of current bench workouts; and to add the serious shoulder strengthening to the workouts after a few weeks or so. The ROM isn't too bad at the moment - I simply want to attain the same flexibility on each side (and get rid of any pain in the process) before I start strengthening things.

On to the workout itself. A busy weekend gave the lat a chance to recover properly, and this morning I ended up doing a quick ME BENCH session. Only a day behind schedule - will no doubt catch up tomorrow.

Of the two major exercises the first is a combination I haven't really played with : close grip benching with a low incline. This warmed up the triceps and shoulders nicely for the subsequent seated half presses, and a new PR came along for the ride.

Finished up with a bit of anterior deltoid stretching - I'm keen to see whether this will have much impact over the next couple of months.

Bench press (15°, close grip) 2x20@20/44. 2x10@30/66, 10@40/88, 8@50/110, 5@60/132
Seated half press 4x12@40/88

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Scott Andrew Bird

Scott Andrew Bird is a writer, photographer and a guy who just loves this stuff. He's been at home in front of a computer for more years than he cares to remember (OK, 35) and is now making amends for years of many mistakes noted in the De-constructing Computer Guy articles (part 2) on T-Nation.

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