Men Over 40 Can Use This Simple Move to Build Bulletproof Shoulders

Photo credit: Plan Shooting 2 / Imazins - Getty Images
Photo credit: Plan Shooting 2 / Imazins - Getty Images

Milo Bryant is a performance coach as well as an experienced journalist. He’s also in his 50s—and his book Unstoppable After 40 gives you the roadmap to do more than merely remain active as you "mature." Milo trains hard and recovers even better so he can do what he wants, when he wants. Get ready to use his methods to become unstoppable. This isn’t your dad’s middle age.

The shoulder is a body part you don’t tend to think about until you have to—and it's more complicated than you might realize. The shoulder is a ball-in-socket joint, which means you can move up, down, side-to-side and in a circular motion. You use your shoulders when you put away dishes and put luggage in the overhead bin. You can’t pick up a baby or do a pushup without the shoulders. Want to throw or shoot a ball? How about catching a ball or hitting a ball? Even getting out of bed properly requires using the shoulders.

But if you have shoulder discomfort or pain, activities that require you to raise your arms up over your head or try to lift up a weight can be downright miserable. Men over 40 are more susceptible to shoulder pain and injuries simply because of how much you’ve used the shoulders over the years. If you fail to take care of your shoulder joints, that pain and injury risk only increases. Thankfully, you can add movements like the side-lying lateral raise to your routine to mitigate the risk of that pain.

Benefits of the Side-Lying Lateral Raise

The side-lying lateral raise trains a part of the shoulder called the rotator cuff, which is made up of four different muscles that simultaneously keep parts of the shoulder joint stable while allowing other parts to move freely.

Doing this exercise twice a week for two sets of 10 reps with each arm will help keep the shoulder moving smoothly and without pain.

How to Do the Side-Lying Lateral Raise

Photo credit: Men's Health
Photo credit: Men's Health

●Holding a very light dumbbell in your right hand, lie on your left side with your right upper arm pressed against your torso and your elbow bent at a 90-degree angle.

●Keeping your elbow against your side, raise the dumbbell up; you’ll feel your shoulder working. Hold for 2 seconds, then return to the starting position.

●Do 10 reps. Repeat with your left arm for 10 reps.

Best Coach Cues for Side-Lying Lateral Raises

● Keep your upper arm “locked” against the torso while doing the exercise.

● Keep your back flat and chest out. No kyphotic (rounded) shoulders.

● Smooth motion both ways. The weight is too heavy if you have to jerk, or lurch the body, to rotate the arm up. If you do this, you need a lighter weight.

Helpful Tip for the Side-Lying Lateral Raise

Go easy on the weight—there's no need to get crazy heavy with this. You’re working little muscles. Use a weight that you can hold in your hand without flexing (bending) the wrist.

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