It’s not always easy to find the right mix of moves to train your shoulders. Sure, from lateral raises to shoulder presses to halos, you know the exercises. But no joint is more delicate than your shoulders, so sequence of moves matters. So too does the day you train shoulders, and the training that came before it.
Blend things wrongly, and you won’t get the most out of your shoulder training, or worse, you’ll wind up with sore, overly tight shoulders, setting the stage for other issues later on. Blend things correctly, though, and you can make serious shoulder gains while enhancing the way your body whole body moves. Shoulder mobility is as key as shoulder strength.
You’ll get both those things, plus more heart rate work than you think in the Kettlebell Snatch to Press and Windmill from Men’s Health fitness director Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S. This multi-purpose shoulder move trains your shoulders in the most classic way (an overhead press) while incorporating the other things you need from your shoulders but don’t always think of. “It’s equal parts strength for your shoulders,” says Samuel, “and necessary TLC.”
That’s because the movement incorporates two ideas you want in your shoulder training, mobility work and back work. Strengthening your pulling muscles is key to long-term shoulder health, helping to offset the positions that life often puts you in. “Most people wind up with their shoulder joint shifted forward, that classic look you see where people have their shoulders slumped forward no matter what,” says Samuel. “This occurs because we don’t train our back muscles, and that can lead to shoulder issues long-term.”
The Shoulder Snatch to Press to Windmill opens with a snatch, which challenges those pulling muscles. Classic shoulder strength work follows in the press, and then the windmill attacks your entire body. “There’s core work and back work in that windmill,” says Samuel, “and you’re also building shoulder awareness as you move in other planes. It’s a great great move.”
The best part: All you need is a kettlebell to pull the entire series off. And you don’t need to pile up reps, either. “Four to six reps,” says Samuel, “will take you longer than you think to execute.”
The Shoulder Snatch to Press to Windmill can serve a variety of purposes in your workout. Use a light weight and do it as a warmup move on upper body days, firing up shoulders, chest, and core, and creating body awareness as you work through the windmill. Or use it as a lead exercise on shoulder days or upper body days, training it with a heavier weight. Whatever you do, focus on being explosive during the snatch, then moving with control on the press and the windmill. “This is a move about intent,” says Samuel. “You have to think it as you do it, and that’s half the fun.”
For more tips and routines from Samuel, check out our full slate of Eb and Swole workouts.
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