This exercise provided courtesy of Billy Polson, founder and co-owner of DIAKADI Body training gym, voted best personal training gym in San Francisco by CitySearch in 2006.
Building your shoulders without strengthening your rotators is an invitation to injury. This exercise helps you warm up and strengthen the entire shoulder complex for power with resilience.
Lie face down on an incline bench with your knees bent and toes resting on the floor behind you. Your chest will be at the top of the bench with your head and neck clear. Take a dumbbell in each hand and let them hang straight down from the shoulder, with palms facing back toward your feet (see Photo 1).
- From the starting position, bend your elbows to 90 degree angles as you bring them up and out to the side. At the top of your motion, your elbows will be out the side at the level of your back, with your hands pointing downward (see Photo 2).
- Keeping your elbows level with your back, slowly rotate at the shoulder and bring your forearms upward until your hands are at the level of your head. Your palms will now face downward (see Photo 3).
- Once your forearms at are up next to your head, press your hands forward in line with your body until your arms are fully extended and your biceps are right by your ears (see Photo 4).
- Reverse the three motions, bending your elbows to bring your hands back toward you (see Photo 5), rotating your forearm downward to hang below you, and finally straightening your elbows toward the floor to return to the starting position. Repeat the entire exercise for a total of 15 repetitions.