April
12

Mountain Bike Exercise Highlight – The Shoulder Press

I didn’t think much about the Shoulder Press when I first started working out in high school. First, I wanted bigger pecs so the ladies would look at me and everyone knew that bench pressing exercises were what you needed to focus on. Second, I couldn’t lift nearly as much weight as I could for those bench pressing exercises, which made it harder to try and impress the girls on the treadmills.

However, something funny happened as I studied the art of strength more. It seemed that everyone I respected talked about the need to build a strong overhead press since it was the true measure of upper body strength, not the bench press. This led me to focus more on my overhead pressing and, as a result, I’ve grown to really appreciate what it can do for you both on the trail and in everyday life.

In this new video I go over the coaching cues I’ve found help people best execute the exercise, some common mistakes tat can cause pain and how to avoid them as well as some advanced tips to help you get the most out of every rep. I also explain more about how this exercise can help you ride with more strength and stability on the trail.

-James Wilson-

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  1. TR says:

    Great post James. The problem I have is that my gym doesn’t have any kettlebells. I love all of the kettlebell movements you highlight but it would be nice if you could also highlight the dumbell variation as well and show what changes when using a dumbell vs. kettlebell.

    Reply • April 12 at 11:00 am
    • bikejames bikejames says:

      I really wouldn’t do anything different. When I use DBs I still start in the Rack Position and follow all of the same coaching cues. The principles I talk about apply to any method, be it KBs, DBs, sandbags or anything else.

      Reply • April 14 at 9:53 am
  2. Darren says:

    Hi James,
    Do you recommend that we do one side at a time? Traditionally, I’ve done this with dumbbells and both left and right at the same time, which seemed to help keep me balanced.

    Reply • April 12 at 11:41 am
    • bikejames bikejames says:

      I do both. You should do single sided presses to make sure you don’t have any imbalances between the two sides and to train the core to resist rotation and use double KB/ DB presses to train max strength and your ability to produce a more core tension.

      Reply • April 14 at 9:52 am
  3. Neil Barstow says:

    Hi James,
    More great tips thanks.
    Bringing the lats into it will certainly help me. I’ve been mountainbiking since 87 and only discovered recently how my proclivity to hunch my shoulders a bit and, basically “set” my shoulders using mainly upper traps has given me some issues.
    So, the therapist feels my upper traps are over developed proportionally and my serratus weak and inactive.
    Even when I try “set” my shoulder blades (one in each pocket) I’ll tend to nip them together rather than pull down and out to wrap around. Apparently that’s where the serratus comes in.
    I wonder if you might discuss it, maybe even do a video with some activations?
    I bet there are a lot of mountainbikers out there with the feeling they are doing it right but with neglected / inactive serratus.
    I’ve been told to try:
    Seated cable (or elastic band) rows,
    elbows at side forearm adduction with a band, kneel on all 4s and slide shoulder blades around the side,
    plus a kinda mix between planks and pushups with arms locked and chest going up and down so shoulder blades slide.
    Serratus is the boxers muscle I read!
    I’ve been getting Golfers elbow / possibly ulnar nerve pain and pulling down and out with the serratus relieves it a lot. I raised my bars a little too. My upper trapezius that side seems overactive, it pops up a lot in a normal days activity. That tension sends pain inyo the neck too.
    Thanks man. Really appreciate what you do for us.

    Reply • May 24 at 5:11 am

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James Wilson
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Mountain Bike Coach
James Wilson