Fitness model, author, and trainer Kirk Charles, knows that as you age, life can get much more complicated. However, that should not prevent you from being at the top of your game. He will help to answer the hard training questions that come with aging so you too can be in shape beyond 40.
When you grow older, lingering aches that you would shake off in your more youthful years can end up being larger issues. Several of my clients have went through this with shoulder pain—and the common solution is rest, and in some cases even physical therapy work. Also, for clients who have a hard time with R&R, there are methods to keep moving. I had one client in particular who was not willing to stop training entirely, so my response was that he try an exercise that might help promote strength and mobility, the archer row. This movement was a simple way for him to work out his shoulder stabilizer muscles without lifting a lot of weight.
To begin, grab a light exercise band. Enter into a half-kneeling position while keeping your right knee forward. Keep the ends of the band in both hands with your right arm somewhat above shoulder height and completely extended. Make sure your left elbow is bent while your left hand holds the band slightly even with your right elbow. You should keep both thumbs pointing upwards towards the ceiling—this will let you keep your shoulders positioned in an external rotation.
From the beginning position, pull backwards with your left hand while holding the band close to your chest. Make certain your right arm stays straight the entire time as you are using your left hand to pull. Pull backwards as far as you can, then stop and squeeze for a count. Then move your left arm and hand back to the beginning position. That is one rep. If you do not feel like you are putting forth a lot of effort, you might need to add a band or pick a different one for increased resistance.
One of the best aspects of the archer row is that it targets your shoulders along with your back. This is true for both components of the movement, your arm that is straight remains in an isometric position working your rhomboids and rotator cuff, while your other arm is targeting the same muscles as you pull backwards.
Author: Blake Ambrose