If you’re a hard training athlete who has spent time in the weight room, chances are that at some point you have had to deal with a shoulder injury. Few things are as frustrating as making lots of progress in the gym, only to tweak your shoulder and start back at square one. Luckily we’ve got a great exercise to help you avoid shoulder injuries. It’s called a Dumbbell Trap 3 Raise. I learned it from Charles Poliquin and Andre Benoit, two of the great strength training minds in the game. Start by resting your head and your left arm on the top of an adjustable incline bench. The dumbbell should be in your right hand, arm extended. The bench should be elevated at about a 75-degree angle. Maintain a slight bend in the knees. Using your right arm, retract your scapula (bring your shoulder blade up on the right side) and raise your arm at a 45-degree angle up to about ear level. Lower your arm slowly and repeat for about 10-12 reps. Switch arms and repeat. The dumbbell to start will be extremely light. That’s ok. Start light and work your way up. Check out the video below to see the Trap 3 Raise in action.
Now, here’s some quick advice if you do suffer a shoulder injury in the gym. Don’t try to be a hero and hope it goes away. In all likelihood it will get worse. Do take action. Seek out the help of a good sports medicine physician to get an initial diagnosis. If you learn that it’s not a major injury, just something like a strain, seek out the expertise of a licensed Active Release Therapist in your area. Active Release helps to restore the muscle to optimal function. Its worked miracles for many athletes. Sometimes one treatment is all it takes to get you back in the game.