In this article I am going to outline TRX shoulder exercises, to define shoulder, I mean exercises which put emphasis on the deltoid muscles or the muscles of the rotator cuff. This means I will not be talking about either horizontal pulling or horizontal pressing movements, as these are not shoulder specific exercises. These exercise will be great for muscle isolation of the small muscles in the shoulders, warming up and rehabilitating injured shoulders.
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TRX Shoulder exercise make excellent warm up exercises for further upper body training, they are a brilliant way to activate the muscles of the rotator cuff to prepare the body for upper body pressing and pulling work. These exercises can be difficult for beginners so be aware of that if you are writing your own programming or programming for yourself.
As these exercises are so effective at working the muscles in the rotator cuff, which are very susceptible to injury in contact sports like rugby and American football, they are particularly beneficial for shoulder rehabilitation. It’s essential to use them progressively at the correct moment on the road to recovery, using some of these exercises at an inappropriate time could make the injury worse and slow down recovery, use them at the right time and at the right difficulty and they will enable you to come back faster and even stronger post injury.
As the shoulder joint is so susceptible to injury it can be important for athletes to help mitigate future problems through doing TRX shoulder exercises. This sort of injury mitigation can easily be done in warm ups over long periods of time, which means athletes can save time in the weight room.
Some of these TRX Shoulder exercise are effective at targeting the anterior deltoids, which can be a difficult muscle to isolate. If you’re interested in muscle growth and want to isolate specific muscles in the shoulders these exercises can be effective.
These exercises require precision and control in order to be effective, if they are rushed or performed with poor technique they will be far less effective. It can be very beneficial to ask yourself why you are performing the exercise and put emphasis on this, often times we use bad technique as a way to avoid difficulty, but this is just a waste of time and takes away from the reason we are there in the first place.
The best way to get these exercises done is either late on in the session or in the warm up. TRX shoulder exercises should not be the primary exercises of a training session, unless the programme is solely based on rehabilitation.
TRX shoulder exercises should not be done for high volumes if the goal is warming up, injury mitigation or rehabilitation. You will only need to do between two and four sets of these exercises for the goals stated above, even for hypertrophy goals you will not want to go over 6 sets.
Single Arm TRX Row with Offset KB Hold is one of the best TRX shoulder exercises to build stability in the rotator cuff. Popularised by Eric Cressey who specialises in baseball strength and conditioning, this exercise can be used in an injury mitigation context or at the later stages of shoulder rehabilitation.
TRX Alligators are a great warm up exercise that can also be used to develop the anterior deltoid. It requires a lot of concentration to perform correctly, it can also be tempting to use the larger muscles of the upper back as they are much stronger. It’s very important to perform this exercise with the arms straight if you want to achieve the desired effect of this exercise.
TRX I’s are another excellent warm up exercise that isolate the muscles of the shoulder joint, it can also be used in the context of rehabilitation and injury prevention. This exercise will be very difficult for beginners and should be reserved for more intermediate to advanced individuals. It is essential to keep a tight core throughout, it can be easy to let the hips drop and not engage the core. Finally, ensure you don’t crash back down to the start position, control the eccentric phase using the muscles of the shoulders.
TRX T Raise is a warm up exercise that allows us to isolate the muscles of the rhomboids, which can be a difficult muscle to target if you’re training at home. This exercise needs to be performed with straight arms if you want to target the rhomboids or warm up the shoulders for horizontal pulling work. This is a good exercise to introduced beginners, who are comfortable taking their own weight, to these somewhat challenging TRX shoulder exercise that require activate of small muscles in the shoulders.
TRX Y Raise is another example of an excellent TRX shoulder exercise that can be used for both warm ups and shoulder rehabilitation. It can be used to warm up for both vertical and horizontal pulling. This is a relatively challenging exercise and shouldn’t be given to beginners for warm ups.
TRX Press is for people with very limited overhead mobility to take their first steps towards vertical pressing. It can also be used by those who are recovering from injury and want to bring full range of motion back into the shoulder joint through regaining strength in the shoulder joint. This exercise will be too easy for most beginners who have normal range of motion in the shoulder joint, these individuals should start vertical pressing and avoid this exercise.
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This resource was written by Sean Klein. Sean Richard Klein has thousands of hours of coaching experience and a BSc in Sports Science with Management from Loughborough University. He owns a gym in Bayonne France, CrossFit Essor, which runs group classes and a Personal training studio.