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Three Programming Strategies for Building Healthy, High Performing Shoulders

By Eric Cressey, Athletes' Acceleration, 11/20/18, 12:00PM CST

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These javelin positions closely reflect what we see in the baseball pitch and tennis serve, although forces in the tennis serve are far lower than in either of these other two motions.

The shoulder is one of the most important anatomical structures to keep healthy in the quest for high performance, but it’s also one of the most misunderstood. Here are three strategies to consider to expand your approach to optimizing its function.

1.  Include a mix of both free- and fixed-scapula pressing exercises.

In most sports, the scapula (shoulder blade) has to rotate freely to accommodate a humerus (upper arm) that moves in space. When we bench press, we lock the scapula down. While benching does allow individuals to utilize greater loading to elicit greater hypertrophy and strength gains, it’s important to incorporate “free scapula” pressing exercises like landmine presses, push-up variations, and cable presses to even things out.