3 Shrug Drills for Stronger, Injury-Free Shoulders

I’m sure it’s no big surprise to you that your shoulders are involved in so many of the exercises we do, and strong, functional shoulders are crucial to being able to do most intermediate and advanced bodyweight exercises, and even more importantly, stay injury-free.

Because shoulder injuries are the worst!

These three simple drills will help improve your pull ups and handstands as well as other cool functional exercises, as well as strengthen your shoulders to avoid getting injured in the future.

Try them out, all you need is a wall!

Plank Shoulder Shrugs

Get into a plank position, tighten your core, squeeze your butt, and push up through your shoulders as you squeeze your shoulders up and back. Everything should feel really tight.

Next, relax your shoulders while still keeping your core tight.

Finally, push back up through your shoulders, really pushing up as hard as you can.

If you want to add an extra challenge to these, you can place your feet on a TRX or stability ball.

Hanging Shoulder Shrugs

Hang from a pull up bar, squeeze your core, and pull your shoulders back and down.

Next, relax your shoulders so that you’re in a dead hang position. Then squeeze again, keeping your ribs pulled in and core tight as you pull through your shoulders and upper back.

Handstand Shoulder Shrugs

Get into a handstand against a wall. You can try these freestanding if you want, but a wall lets you focus on the exercise easier.

Push up through your shoulders as high as you can so you feel like you’re pushing away from the ground. Keep your core tight as you do so.

Relax your shoulders so that you naturally lower towards the ground.

Push back up, once again pushing as hard as you can away from the ground.

If doing shoulder shrugs in a handstand is intimidating to you right now, try it first with your feet on an elevated surface so that your shoulders are directly above your hips and your body is in a 90 degree angle.

Try out these exercises 3-5 times a week or include them as part of your warm up, your shoulders should feel stronger and more stable in just a couple of weeks.

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