This week I’m going to teach you a new shoulder saving exercise to add to the end of your workout routine: the kettlebell side plank.

 

Who could benefit from the kettlebell side plank?

This core movement is for anyone with a shoulder. Seriously, if you want to injury proof your shoulders or are coming out of rehab for your shoulder, this move is perfect for you. Perform 2 sets of 30 seconds per side following your training routine and you’re good to go.

Why is the side plank so great for the shoulder?

The traditional side plank is great. Reason is that it works on stabilizing your shoulder on the arm closest to the ground. What this means is that all the muscles are working in synergy to hold the humerus (upper arm) in the scapula (shoulder blade). Now we have the lats, rotator cuff, and many other muscles working together to hold the arm in the socket. Why this is so important is that the shoulder has the greatest range of motion than any other joint, and the more range of motion, the greater the risk of injury. This movement is great to teach control of all that range of motion you have.

Why is kettlebell side plank so great compared to just a traditional side plank?

The body doesn’t work in isolation. We have fascia that surrounds the muscles and connective tissue in different patterns, spanning various muscles, ligaments, and tendons.

 

spiral__line

When we look at the spiral fascia, we can appreciate the connection between the lats and opposite hip. If we can activate one part of the fascia, the other part will activate as well. So how can we make the entire fascial line activate?

By working the shoulder as well as the opposite oblique at the same time. And that’s exactly what the kettlebell side plank does, it creates a sling for the shoulder by utilizing activation of the opposite oblique.

How to:

Grab a kettlebell that’s not too heavy nor too light. Lie on your back and press the kettlebell up with both hands. Move away the hand that will not be holding the kettlebell, and roll onto the forearm of the non kettlebell arm. From here you should be not in a side lying position. Push the bottom shoulder away from the head by using your lats (big muscle udner your arms). Bridge up your hips off the ground and hold for 30 seconds. For a more detailed “how to,” check out the video above.

What do I do if it’s too too easy?

–       Go up in weight of the kettlebell.

–       Change the grip of the kettlebell so the bottom of the kettlebell is facing the ceiling. Get creative with the placement of the kettlebell.

–       Have a partner lightly move around the kettlebell in various while you fight to maintain that overhead position.

If it’s too hard?

–       Do a modified side plank instead, which is a side plank off of your knees.

–       Use a dumbbell instead of akettlebell

–       Instead of a weight, have partner lightly move your upper arm in random directions

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