Increase Upper-Body Strength With Katie Smith's Shoulder Mash

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Katie Smith, MVP of the 2008 WNBA Finals, has used her precise shooting form to rack up the third-most points in WNBA history, behind Lisa Leslie and Tina Thompson. After 13 seasons, she continues to play at an elite level, which can be attributed to her dedication in the weight room.

One of the Smith's primary areas of focus is strengthening her shoulders. To do so, she performs the Shoulder Mash, which not only develops her strength, but, because of high reps and low weight, conditions her shoulders to resist fatigue. "It's about toughness," says Dave Robinson, Smith's strength coach. "It's something to grit and grind through"—to ensure that Smith's shoulders are strong and stable when she goes up for a rebound and to combat fatigue from repeatedly passing and shooting during games.

Shoulder Mash

  • Sit upright with feet on ground
  • With end of barbell in landmine machine, grasp opposite end with both hands at shoulder height
  • Push up and overhead with outside hand; lower to opposite shoulder
  • Perform movement in opposite direction
  • Repeat for specified reps

Sets/Reps: 1x15, 1x12, 1x9

Robinson notes that this exercise activates core muscles with the arms overhead, helping you to stay strong and balanced when moving around the court. It can be performed with a broomstick to learn the movement and develop strength before loading the barbell—and your muscles—with weight.

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