IU Wrestling Shoulder Mini Routine

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A wrestler's best friends are a sturdy singlet, a tube of collodion and shoulder strength. STACK will never be confused with Betsy Ross or your local pharmacist, but we're always here for you when it comes to prepping your shoulders for hard times on the mat. Below, IU wrestling strength and conditioning coach Josh Eidson provides a mini routine to prevent shoulder problems.

"Wrestling is hard on the shoulders," says Eidson, "but you need to be strong in the upper body for pummeling." To avoid plummeting to the mat, Eidson suggests warming up with Manual External Rotations, then going heavy with Barbell Shoulder Presses once per week. "The external rotation is a rotator cuff exercise [to] stabilize the shoulder," he says. "[Barbell Shoulder Presses] are a total-body exercise that emphasizes shoulder strength."

Manual External Rotations (partner required)
• Stand with left arm and shoulder against wall for support
• Bend right arm at 90 degrees and position fist near navel; partner places one hand on fist and other hand on top of elbow
• Rotate arm outward and away from body as far as possible while partner offers resistance by pushing in on fist and elbow
• As partner continues resistance by slightly pulling out on fist and elbow, return arm to start position

Sets/Reps: 1x10 each arm
Coaching Points: Keep shoulder flat against wall // Avoid twisting body during movement // Keep elbow tight to body // Partner applies enough pressure to make movement difficult, but not impossible

Barbell Shoulder Press

• Set pegs in racks at shoulder height
• Assume split or box stance with feet at shoulder width
• Place hands on bar with shoulder-width grip
• Drive bar straight up; once bar is above head, push head through
• Lower bar below chin with control

Sets/Reps/Rest: 3x5/60-90 seconds
Coaching Points: Do not grip the bar too wide // Once bar is above head, push head through to keep your spine straight and avoid back pain // Pause for a brief second while bar is overhead

Benefits: Strengthens shoulders, creates rotator cuff flexibility and develops core stability


Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock