is natural. But doing it with exercises can lead to injury. “Many guys have shoulder imbalances and tight lats, especially if they do lots of chin-ups and pull-ups,” says BJ Gaddour. The key to offsetting such imbalances is to incorporate opposing movement patterns into your workout. “The modified handstand shoulder tap is great in that regard,” Gaddour says. “It lengthens your lats and boosts shoulder mobility as well as overall strength.” Follow his tips below to master the move, part of Workout B on the previous page.
GRIP THE GROUND
Splaying your fingers and grasping the floor will take pressure off your wrists and increase your base of support. Pressing down with your palms, meanwhile, will activate the muscles around your armpits, securing your shoulders and preventing a muscle impingement, explains Gaddour.
BRACE YOUR CORE
“Once you’re upside down, tighten every muscle in your body, especially your core muscles and glutes,” says Gaddour. “That will lock you into position, making you less likely to teeter over.” While you’re at it, keep your torso straight from your hips to your head to minimise the stress on your spine.
LIFT YOUR HIPS
Assuming a pike position allows the exercise to really work its magic. “Lifting your hips shifts the workload from your chest to your shoulders and upper back,” says Gaddour. “It also gives you that all-important stretch in your lats.” That boosts shoulder mobility and range of motion.
“This exercise isn’t a speed drill,” says Gaddour. “Slowly touch one shoulder at a time, holding each tap for a count of two.” That brief pause will increase the time your muscles are under tension – and the harder they work, the more they’ll grow and the stronger you’ll become.
OFFSET MUSCLE IMBALANCES BY ADDING OPPOSING MOVEMENT INTO YOUR WORKOUT