Everyone knows pro football players lift heavy weights. After all, strength is all about the poundage you can press, right? Not always. Men's Health adviser David Jack worked out with one NFL team and discovered a great shoulder exercise that's done with just a pair of 2.5-pound weight plates. (For a great no-weight routine, check out The Body-Weight Workout You Can Do Anywhere.)
This "light-weight" movement is called the 3-way shoulder series and it's courtesy of Mike Morris, former strength and conditioning coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. "It’s an absolute burner for your shoulders," says Jack. "But more importantly, it’ll help improve your shoulder stability long-term, and allow you to lift heavier weights when you do 'big lifts' like presses." The upshot: It strengthens the small muscles that keep your shoulders stable, setting you up for huge gains in just about every other upper-body movement.
But wait, there's more! The exercise also helps to promote good posture, which Jack refers to as "the root of good health." The reason: "Good posture allows your nervous system to work more efficiently, and it also improves your breathing patterns," says Jack. "These are fundamental drivers of optimal health and longevity." (How healthy is your posture? Find out by taking The Perfect Posture Self-Test.)
Ready to give this exercise a try? Watch the video to see how to do the 3-way shoulder series with perfect form. And for full-color photos and instructions of 600 more exercises, along with tons of workouts and useful fitness advice, check out The Men's Health Big Book of Exercises and The Women's Health Big Book of Exercises.
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