tip of the month archive

TIP # 08

Here I am with the Tip Of The Month . . . late again! (At least I keep them approximately 30 days apart.)

I've had a hard time deciding what to talk about this month, then Kevin, (our resident web / computer genius), said, "write something about doing push-up variations when you can't get to the gym".

Great idea, but before I could get to the computer, a client gave me his February copy of Muscle & Fitness magazine. (Are you getting ahead of me here?) You guessed it . . . they had a feature on push-ups . . . and that issue is still on the newsstands.

Now I'd hate to be accused of being a 'copycat' . . . even though my play on push-ups was gonna be MUCH better than the M&F piece, as well as VERY humorous. In fact, it was pure genius, if I do say so myself.

Anyway, you're gonna have to settle for this little commentary on pressing angles and the shoulder joints. (Unfortunately, shoulder joints aren't any where near as funny as push-ups.)

There are several angles at which you can press a barbell or a couple of dumbells.

Presses Behind the Neck
Front Presses (Some folks call them Military Presses)
Incline Bench Presses
Flat Bench Presses
Decline Bench Presses

Your level of strength changes with the angle of the press. You are weakest in the Press Behind the Neck, and strongest in the Decline Bench Press. Following an arc from the Declines to the Behind the Necks, each press position gets progressively weaker.

Not only that, but your shoulder stability varies with each angle, too. However, shoulder stability DOESN'T vary in accordance with the "follow the arc" rule that your strength normally adheres to. It's more of an individual thing.

There are two things to consider when discussing any of your joints: stability and mobility. This is something you need to keep in mind when you train. The shoulders are incredibly mobile but highly unstable. That instability rears it's ugly head whenever you press . . . with no regards to the angle of the press.

So, whenever you do any type of press movement . . . protect those shoulder joints! Don't jerk, don't throw the weight up or allow it to drop down, go slow, no heroics weight wise and keep the form clean and strict!

Chances are, if you've been training for a while, you've felt a twinge in one or both of your shoulder joints before. There's no need for that if you train smart.

(It's a shame . . . that push-up thing would have been a riot!)

Try this month's tip for 30 days. Then [ E-mail ] me and tell me about your progress.

- Poppa

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