Improve your bench presses by adding the scarecrow workout into your weightlifting regimen.
Despite their utility and benefits, scarecrow workouts are rarely seen in the gym. They are an excellent addition to any upper-body weightlifting regimen and are suitable not only for bodybuilders, but also for athletes who participate in sports like baseball, volleyball and tennis. Scarecrow workouts primarily target the shoulder muscles and are helpful for not only preventing or repairing injuries, but also for improving posture.
When your shoulder muscles are not properly conditioned to press heavy weights, they open the gate to serious injuries that can result in loss in range of motion, reduced strength and increased risk of other injuries. Scarecrow workouts reduce or prevent this kind of damage by strengthening the rotator cuff muscles along with the posterior and lateral deltoid muscles, increasing shoulder stability. They also engage your obliques, which are part of your core.
The Scarecrow Stretch
Find a comfortable spot where you can sit with your legs crossed. Make sure you're sitting up straight, with your ears, shoulders and hips aligned. Hold your arms straight out at your sides so that your upper body forms a T. While keeping your upper arms at shoulder height, drop your forearms down so that they form a 90-degree angle at your elbows. Breathe deeply and slowly as you bring your hands up so that your fingers point at the ceiling, rotating at the shoulder. Make sure your upper arms remain where they are. Do not let your shoulders come forward.
Weighted Scarecrow Workout With Dumbbells
Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart. While holding a dumbbell in each hand, hold your arms straight out, then let your hands fall so that your arms are bent in a 90-degree position. Make sure your upper arms are aligned with your shoulders. Keeping your right arm bent at the elbow, lower your arm diagonally across your body to your left hip, flexing your trunk as you do so and allowing your legs to bend slightly. Return back to starting position and repeat this motion with your left arm. Complete three sets of 10 reps on each side, slowly increasing the weight of the dumbbells over time.
Weighted Scarecrow Workout With Plates
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Grab a weighted plate in each hand and, keeping your abs tense, bend at the knees and hips until your torso is almost parallel with the floor. Let your arms hang straight down, then bring them up so that they form a 90-degree angle at the elbow. Your upper arms should be aligned with your shoulders. Rotate your forearms until your hands and weights are level with your head, then press the weights straight out in front of you as if you are doing a pushup. Bring your arms back towards you, let your forearms fall so that the weights are now closer to the ground and slowly return to the starting position to complete the rep. Try and complete three sets of 10 to 12 reps, resting for 60 seconds between each set.