December 18, 2009, Newsletter Issue #408: Single Arm Single Leg Shoulder Press

Tip of the Week

Oh yeah, you read it right.  Only one arm and one leg.  You must be thinking "Nick, that is silly talk." On the contrary, it is genius!  This will help to improve your balance, your core strength, your shoulder strength and your leg strength.  Glorious.
Stand in Anatomical Neutral Posture, holding the weight up to the side of your torso bent 90 degrees at the elbow and 90 degrees at the upper arm and oblique. Contract your abdomen and the glutes (butt) slightly to ensure that the hips do not shoot forward or have the lower back arch excessively. Lift the adjacent foot to the arm bearing weight off the ground about an inch, holding it there for the duration of the set, then press the weight above head, keeping hand directly above elbow and arm parallel with your torso. Hold above your head with arm straight, making sure to keep your head back. Bring the weight back down slowly to a 90 degree bend at the elbow, keeping the arm parallel with the torso, then repeat.
The great thing about standing single leg exercises is that they do a wonderful job of working out your abdomen and leg.  By ading only one arm to this exercise your abdomen and leg have to work that much harder, along with your shoulder as it tries to help you stay balanced by being very controlled.  The best way to do this (in my opinion) is to not take a break before switching legs/arms.  By the way, if you are shoulder pressing with your right arm, your right leg should be off the ground (and vice versa).  This way you will working properly with your opposite glute/lat complex....we'll save that for another time :)   
Good luck, go the full range of motion, and make sure that you stay balanced on that foot trying not to let the other one touch the ground! 

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Nicholas Frank