Is it possible to increase (or decrease) your strength by 70 percent instantly?! When you really start to learn how your body works, it certainly is. Most people are unaware of this technique and unfortunately find themselves on the bottom side of that huge range. This leads to sore, weak shoulders at best…or damaged, injured shoulders at worst.
I want to show you one of my all-time favorite demonstrations. I call it the “shoulder posture strength test”. It is so effective because it works the same for everyone (young/old, male/female, injured/healthy). What this test illustrates is how your posture directly affects your strength, endurance and durability. When you are in the incorrect position, your body does not engage the correct muscles. This causes pain as the “force” of everything you do (throwing a football, picking up a baby, reaching up into the cupboard) gets absorbed into your joints instead of into your muscles.
This is always such a great realization for people because they start to see that pain can be avoided…starting immediately. As they remind themselves daily to hold proper position, right on cue their joints start to feel better. Then as this becomes habit, it can translate to everything we do. That is when you really start to make progress…getting stronger every single day with nothing holding you back! Imagine going for a jog (or running a 5K) and your shoulders being completely relaxed and free with no “clicking” or restriction of any kind. Think of picking your baby up over your head with no pain whatsoever. That is how it is supposed to be.
Here is the shoulder posture strength test. My friend, Ben “Tarzan” Melick who is a celebrity personal trainer and American Ninja Warrior competitor is helping me demonstrate this.
Ok, that’s pretty simple right? Slouch and you get achy. Hold proper position and your shoulders, neck and upper body get stronger and stay pain-free. It does take some time to “learn” this thoroughly though. Years ago, when I first started learning about this, I was coming off of a…wait for it…SHOULDER INJURY! Big surprise, right? haha. I had to start reminding myself literally dozens of times per day: working at the desk, driving, TRAINING, watching tv on the couch etc, etc, etc.
Then quite soon after, it really did become habit and now it is much more natural to keep my chest up and shoulders relaxed than to slouch and shrug. Between these good habits and some intense training methods which I will show you soon, I have had healthy, pain-free shoulders for 9 years, including 3 years of minor pro hockey, 3 seasons of American Ninja Warrior and numerous other adventures!
Often when I talk about this, people think it is nice in theory but doesn’t really make that much of a difference in actual application. Well I want to tell you a quick story about a former pro baseball player that I was working with at D1 Sports Training in Nashville, TN when I was a strength coach there. He was an average sized guy with decent strength. He was working on his 1 rep max that day for bench press…meaning the heaviest weight he could possibly complete for one successful rep.
I was walking by as he struggled to complete a rep at 250lbs. I looked over and all I said was, “next time try and elevate your sternum…chest up”. On the following rep, he elevated his sternum…slightly and absolutely threw the bar to the top! So we kept moving the weight higher and higher and I kept instructing him to “drive his chest up more” each time. In the span of one 30 minute training session, we took his max bench press from 250 to 320lbs! Yes, a 70lb increase in 30 minutes…and just by changing his posture! His response was, “wow, I wish I would have been training like that when I was playing.”
From staying pain free at the desk to being relaxed when running long distances to lifting heavier weights than were previously possible, it simply works! Now, have fun applying it to everything you possibly can.
Getting Stronger Every Single Day,