Club training is synonymous with shoulder exercise. Just about every club training movement has some degree of shoulder activity involved. If you are interested in packing some muscle on to your delts or increasing your OHP (over head pressing) strength, here are some great club training shoulder exercises.
If you are new to club training, please watch the videos on my website to get the basics down and avoid possible injury.
Begin with the club held in both hands front, elbows bent 90 degrees and press the club straight up toward the ceiling. Keep it steady by imagining a cup of water balanced on top of the club.
As you press upward wring your hands outward which keeps your elbow tissue safe. Return to starting position while wringing your hands inward. This same move can be done with one hand, but instead of starting on your body’s centerline, begin with the elbow married to your side, club held upright straight in front. Don’t forget to rotate your hand and club outward as it travels upward, and reverse on the way down.
The next is a variation of the overhead press, but instead of pushing the club straight up, make the club travel up and away from your body at a 45 degree angle. Some trainers refer to this as the torch press or angle press. The knob of the club should end up about eye level and the arms are fully extended at an angle up and away from the body. Remember to wring the handle. This also can be done with one hand.
Getting away from the pressing moves, let’s add some strength/mobility to the shoulder exercises. Begin by picking the club from the floor, left hand next to the knob, right hand is under, clean it up to ready position, right elbow married to your side, left arm forearm crossing the abs.
Your two arms should form a square, the club is the corner when you look down. Raise the head or muzzle of the club up and dump it over your right shoulder, ending behind your back. Your elbows should be above your head. The right elbow should be pointing fairly forward while the left is pointing toward the left. Move the club behind your back toward the left and draw it back over your left shoulder into the opposite position that you began in. Return the club to your right side by passing it in front maintaining its upright position. This is an excellent move for building a thick powerful shoulder girdle and directly develops the rotator cuff muscles Supraspinatus, Infraspinatus, Teres Minor, and the Sub-scapularus, easy to remember by SITS. Anatomy lesson – check.
A shoulder exercise for those who want a bit more deltoid shape is lateral raises with the club held upside-down. Simply grip the knob or the handle and raise the club laterally for medial deltoids, raise to the front for front delts, or bend forward at the waist 45 degrees, drawing the elbows up and to the rear to hit the posterior delts.
The last exercise is a complex and challenging movement for the club training enthusiast. The mill is a shoulder exercise designed to develop strength and coordination. It is similar to throwing a football or cracking a whip. The easiest way to teach this drill is to practice throwing a football but never letting it go. Throw the ball like you were throwing a bomb, but don’t let it go, instead let it return in a downward arc back naturally to the cocked shoulder position.
Once you have that down, practice forceful elbow adduction to the body’s centerline. This will cause momentum when using a club and give it a ‘wag’ when performing a mill to help propel it forward and over the shoulder. Once you feel confident, practice more but using a T-ball bat. These are excellent for learning club training patterns. Get in a good hundred on each arm before using a club with any weight. Form is important here, and mills done with a light weight are excellent for joint conditioning and rehab. Mills performed heavier will be a great addition to your shoulder exercises.