You will see this quick light weight circuit in most of my programs as I have been using this six exercise series for over 20 years now. Adding some dumbbell exercises can help you supplement a calisthenics only program creating more balance that some calisthenics cannot do alone efficiently.
The shoulder is our most versatile joint. There is no other joint that can lift up, down, forward, backward, rotate left and right, and throw. The only joint in our body built similarly is the hip. But with the shoulder's versatility becomes its weakness. It is commonly injured due to tendonitis, ligament pulls, bursitis, dislocations, separations, collisions with people or the ground, and rotator cuff injuries. If you have had any of these injuries in the past or you want to help rehab / rebuild and prevent shoulder injuries in the future, try the Light Weight Shoulder Workout below.
This workout is actually one used by many physical therapists and requires ONLY light weights or rubber bands if you prefer - in fact no heavier than FIVE pound dumbbells is recommended. Start by using no weights at all and only lift "the air". You will find that the air gets heavy on these small muscles of the shoulder. But these are the muscles that no one specifically exercises often. Most people will lift too heavy amounts of weight over their head and cause an injury mainly due to lack of stabilization of the shoulder joint or throw without warming up the arm. By exercising all of the muscles in the shoulder with the Light Weight Shoulder Workout, you will build the balance needed in the shoulder to help prevent injuries and build nice, tone shoulders and arms. Try it below and see for yourself:
The Light Weight Shoulder Workout (with dumbbells)
Do the following sequence of exercises non-stop for ten reps each:
Lateral Raises - 10 (palms down)
Lateral Raises - 10 (thumbs up)
Lateral Raises - 10 (thumbs down)
Front Raises - 10 (thumbs up)
Cross overs - 10 (palms facing away from you)
Military press - 10 (see pics below)
LATERAL RAISE - A safe and effective shoulder exercise with light weights. Over 5 pound dumbbells is not recommended for this exercise. Keep your knees slightly bent, shoulder back, and your chest high. Lift weights parallel to ground in a smooth controlled motion, keep your palms facing the ground. Follow the next 5 exercises without stopping.
THUMBS UP - After performing 10 regular lateral raises, do 10 lateral raises with your thumbs up, touching your hips with your palms facing away from you and raising your arms no higher than shoulder height.
THUMBS DOWN - Continue with side lateral raises. As you lift your arms upward, keep your thumbs down. Repeat for 10 times with your thumbs facing downward. Slightly adjust your shoulder/arms forward as this is not a true lateral raise about 30-50% of a front raises - next exercise.
FRONT RAISE (THUMBS UP) - Now, for 10 more repetitions, time to work your front deltoids. Lift the dumbbells from your waist to shoulder height keeping your thumbs up.
CROSS OVERS - With your palms facing away from you and arms relaxed in front of your hips, bring your arms up and over your head as if you were doing a jumping jack (without jumping). Cross your arms IN FRONT of your head and bring them back to your hips for 10 repetitions.
MILITARY PRESS - Place one foot ahead of the other as shown and knees slightly bent to reduce strain on your lower back. Exhale as you push the weights over your head for 10 final repetitions in the mega-shoulder pump workout.. Slowly lower them to shoulder height and repeat. Muscles used are shoulders and triceps (back of arm).
Do this routine during any upper-body day workout. Each of the Stew Smith Fitness Books has this great workout explained and placed throughout the workouts on upper body days. Check out StewSmithFitness.com Articles section for more information of training or email Stew@StewSmith.com if you have questions.
Other PT Test Related Programs:
But one of my latest creations is called the Calisthenics and Cardio - No Equipment Needed Guide For Body Weight Exercisers and maybe a good option for people of all fitness levels to stay home or get outside and train.
Navy SEAL Workout Phase 2 - 3 - Intermediate Weeks 1-12
Navy SEAL Workout Phase 4 Grinder PT - Four weeks before Hell Week
It depends: The Complete Guide to Navy SEAL Fitness is a classic and focuses on high rep calisthenics and running and swimming base. You will build up your running over 12-18 weeks to 20 miles but very fast paced focus on both the 1.5 mile run for the PST and the 4 mile timed run for weekly run test at BUDS. If you are an athlete with a strong power / strength background in lifting and not running or swimming, Navy SEAL Fitness is ideal for you. IF you need some place to start Navy SEAL Fitness is ideal for you as well because a calisthenics base / running / swimming progression is a good place to build a foundation. Though you will likely need to spend some time in the Navy SEAL Weight Training Book OR if Navy SEAL FItness is too challenging, go with Navy SEAL SWCC, EOD, Diver, PST Phase 1 Workout. Phase 1 is a good starting point if Navy SEAL Fitness program is too tough.
Navy SEAL Weight Training - This is part two (winter lifting phase) of my SEAL Prep program. If you have done the Navy SEAL Fitness (12 weeks to BUDS) program a few times and need a break, this is the next program that integrates lifting with the Navy SEAL Prep training. This is ideal for people who have come from an endurance athlete background. Athletes like swimmers and runners will also require some strength training as you will be exposed to challenges under logs and boats during the first phase and many miles of rucking 50+ lbs of backpacks and gear in 2nd and 3rd phases of BUDS. Do not skip lifting in your year of training prep. However, if you are coming from a powerlifting / football background, supplementing a few lifts into your endurance / muscle stamina focus plan is something you may enjoy especially if training for a year or more during your prep phase.
Navy SEAL / SWCC, EOD, Diver Program Series - Phase 1 is what I call a beginner guide, but it is still challenging. It is geared toward those who are scoring minimally or failing their Navy PST test - 500yd swim, pushups, situps, pullups, 1.5 mile run. It is easier than The Complete Guide to Navy SEAL Fitness and a good prep course before attempting it.
Phase 2 and 3 of the Navy SEAL / SWCC, EOD, Diver program is about the same level of intensity as Navy SEAL Fitness and is also a good follow-up plan after Phase 1.
Phase 4 ot the Navy SEAL Key to Mental Toughness is by far my toughest workout ever created. It resembles a day of BUDS, complete with "wet and sandy", runs after eating, high rep punishment push-ups, 4 mile timed runs, 2 mile swims with fins, log PT simulation, and even a HellWeek Simulator with 3 workouts a day.
Other EBOOKS (Military, Police, Fire Fighter, Special Ops, General Fitness) – Most of my programs tend to focus on getting TO and THROUGH a specific tactical training program. So you may see a mix of all the seasons in some of these books, but if you are training long term, you can take advantage of Seasonal Periodization and save yourself some of the over-use, long term pains that tend to follow many of the tactical preparations - especially on the spec ops level of training.
Start training today with workouts that focus on the specifics of getting to and through tactical profession training from firefighter, police, swat, military to special ops. We have programs to help you get TO and THROUGH training. We also have training programs to help you with training as you age in these professions (Tactical Fitness 40+ series).
Tactical Fitness Series - Tactical Fitness, Tactical Strength, and Tactical Mobility is an ALL-encompassing program that focuses on lifting, calisthenics, run, ruck, swim, speed, agility, and flexibility / mobility. Many people focusing on USMC (OCS, RECON, MarSOC) Army Ranger / SF, Air Force Special Warfare, SWAT / Federal Law Enforcement, and Navy Special Warfare have done very well focusing on the Tactical Fitness Series and developing themselves into an all-round Tactical Athlete.
Tactical Fitness - At the core of this program is the Tactical Fitness Test which measures 12 standards for your physical capacity, including: cardiovascular conditioning, strength, muscle coordination, and stamina. Tactical fitness means having the skills needed to save lives and extend the limits of your endurance whether you are in the military, police, firefighting professions, or just an everyday hero. Also featured in the Tactical Fitness Test called the Dirty Dozen.
Tactical Strength - Tactical Strength is the lifting program used by Stew Smith and his Military, Police, Fire Fighter fitness program called the Heroes of Tomorrow. It is designed to build strength in the upper body, legs, and core to prepare you better for any load bearing activity (rucking, boat carry, log PT, etc). The program also does not neglect cardiovascular activity and will end workouts with rucking or swimming (or other non impact options (row, bike, elliptical) if needed. The cardio workouts will be quick and fast focusing more on speed and agility than long slow distance. We also use the Tactical Strength Test to test elements of speed, agility, and strength / power.
Tactical Mobility is a comprehensive fitness guide for greater mobility, flexibility, and performance—designed for the men and women serving in military, special ops, law enforcement, emergency services. Tactical Mobility is a perfect fit for any fitness program as a stand alone "Mobility day" supplemented into your regular routine and will help you reach the pain free level of fitness. Gaining flexibility and mobility is the goal of the program and it will help with performance and help reduce injuries.
The Warrior Workout Series - If you are solid with making your own workouts, but need some ideas. This three part series has 300 workouts (100 / book) to pick from focusing on all the elements of fitness and training programs. Each book is organized with periodization cycles in mind along with calisthenics only, weights / calisthenics mix, cardio options and more. Warrior Workout 1 - Warrior Workout 2 - Warrior Workout 3.
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