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With my recent neck issues due to some instability in my rhomboids and trapezius muscles, I had to adjust my training style over the last few weeks to lighter weights and more emphasis on my core. Over the last few years, minor injuries are now catching up to me causing muscle imbalances and small spasms in my neck and mid back so it’s time to adjust my training for this phase of my journey while I’m being treated.

Today my principal movement for shoulder training is still the Dumbbell Press but performed on a Stability Ball (rather than seated on my adjustable bench or standing) to emphasize not only deltoid development but also core activation for balance and coordination. This exercise is also a wonderful change up for your shoulder training routine regardless of injury.

Sitting on the stability ball with my feet firmly planted on the ground and my abdominals tight, my butt and hips are squeezed to ensure my pelvis remains stable and hips are flat throughout the movement. With palms facing forward, dumbbells are at the side of my head at the starting point of the movement then raised above my head without locking the elbows. Repeat for 10 reps.

Most importantly my neck and head is completely stable and I am creepily staring at my reflection in the mirror (hehehe…please ignore the red eye flash in the photo too) to ensure strict form and maximal energy transfer especially with this movement.

Proper form and following the natural biomechanics of your body always supersedes weight when it comes to building muscle or progressing with your fitness goals. Too often everyone is pushing more weight than their body can handle resulting in poor form. Because of the competitive fires inside me I’ve definitely been guilty of this recently and in my case, ignoring nagging injuries will eventually catch up to you. Getting back to basics with tools such as the Stability Ball, Bands, and body weight training can be wonderful new forms of exercise for much needed change and to also break bad habits.

To make matters worse having to pose for training photos (for the sake of a photo shoot) isn’t always best for your body because small injuries can turn into bigger issues. For the purpose of angles and lighting, form is often compromised at a photo shoot.

I think I need to put together a Dynamic/Static Stretching protocol for fitness photo shoots…



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