MATRIX Personalized Fitness
More than just your muscles


Shane Sauer 0:01

Hi, I'm Shane.

Carolyn Rankin 0:02

And I'm Carolyn.

Shane Sauer 0:03

We're from MATRIX Personalized Fitness. In this video, from our Foundations Of Fitness series, we're going to be talking about vertical pushing and pulling. That means our shoulders and our lats.

Shane Sauer 0:16

When we're talking about vertical pushing and pulling, we're talking about using our shoulders and our lat muscles. The lats are the big part of back. It's one of the bigger muscles in the body.But we're going to start with shoulders today. There's three different parts to your basic shoulder musculature. There's the front or anterior, there's the side or lateral, and there's the back or posterior. I'm going to show you a quick stretch and muscle squeeze for each one of those. Just so you can learn how to get a contraction through the muscle. And then we're going to move on to seeing how this actually works in a functional exercise.

Shane Sauer 0:47

To stretch your anterior deltoid, your front deltoid, what I want you to do is roll your bicep to the outside. Then, start to draw the hand straight back. Now it's hard to stretch these muscles, but do you feel a stretch coming through the front of the shoulder here?

Carolyn Rankin 1:01

I do.

Shane Sauer 1:01

Perfect. When you're going to squeeze this, you're going to bring the full arm forward, rotating the bicep in, and start to lift the arm up. Now the arm only goes so high if you don't move your shoulder blade. So, think about keeping your shoulder blade engaged. With it engaged you will probably be able to bring your hand up just a little bit higher. And as you're doing that,

Carolyn Rankin 1:18


Shane Sauer 1:18

Yup. Starting to feel the contraction right there across the front? Feeling it there?

Carolyn Rankin 1:22

Mmm hmm.

Shane Sauer 1:22

Perfect. Go ahead and take the arm back and create the stretch again. Stretching and squeezing are two very different sensations for you, right?

Carolyn Rankin 1:30

Mmm hmm.

Shane Sauer 1:30

You can tell the difference between the two? I want to make sure that when we're getting into the exercises that you're noticing that going on as well.

Shane Sauer 1:35

Now to stretch the lateral deltoid, the middle deltoid, it is a lot more challenging because your body is in the way. What we're going to do is we're going to bring the arm just a little forward. Bring it across here. Because the body is in the way, it's going to be hard to get a stretch sensation, but the muscle here is lengthening. Now the same thing is going to happen as she takes the arm out to the side. We're going to want to hold the shoulder blade still and then start to lift the arm up to the side. Keeping that shoulder blade still, can you start to circle the arm just a little bit higher? Think about taking this part of the arm right here and pulling it in towards the body. Can you feel that squeeze through this middle part of the shoulder?

Carolyn Rankin 2:07

Uh Yeah.

Shane Sauer 2:08

Perfect. That's what we're shooting for. Then go ahead and bring the arm back down and across the body for the stretch.

Shane Sauer 2:14

The last one is the rear delt. This is the more traditional shoulder stretch that if you've stretched your shoulders before, you'll know. You're going to bring your arm across your body and kind of hug it in with the other arm. This is creating a nice big stretch, opening across the back of the shoulder. Are you feeling that?

Carolyn Rankin 2:29

Mmm hmm.

Shane Sauer 2:29

Perfect. So I'm going to have you turn a little bit more this way, just so the camera can see. From here, go ahead and release. To get the rear deltoid, what you're going to do is start here, open your arm out wide to the side. And again, this is where the muscle attaches. And back here on the shoulder blade. I want you to roll your bicep up. This gets a little closer to the shoulder blade. Turn just a little further. And then I want you to try and bring my two fingers together, here. So it's not the shoulder blade acting, it's actually the arm itself trying to pull backwards.

Carolyn Rankin 2:56


Shane Sauer 2:56

Feel between here and here get a little tighter? Nice job good work! And relax that. So that's the whole shoulder all three muscles that even that by itself is a pretty good workout no?

Carolyn Rankin 3:07

That's good.

Shane Sauer 3:07

All right, so the most basic vertical push we have is just a dumbbell overhead press. So, that's what we're going to do today. The shoulder is so complex and has so many ranges of motion, there's a number of exercises that we can do. But you'll learn that when you actually get into working out. So, from here, we're going to grab your weights. You're going to bring the weights right up to your shoulders. Elbows about shoulder height. You can let them drop just a little bit further, so you start to feel a little stretch in the shoulder. Now from here, you're going to press both arms straight up overhead. And again, you're trying to squeeze through the shoulder itself. Maybe bring the weights a little closer together to get a bit more of the front delt. Cool. Now, the elbows will bend back down again. That might bring in a gentle stretch and sensation. And then drive back up again. Finding the squeeze through the shoulders. Cool. Go ahead and let that down. Nice job. Did you feel the work anywhere other than the shoulders?

Carolyn Rankin 3:59

Yeah, actually through my back a little bit.

Shane Sauer 3:59

Through your back. So as you're taking a weight overhead, there's a lot of stabilization that has to go on so you don't fall over. Parts of your core might be activating, as well as other muscles around the shoulder girdle that have to hold it in place. But the key thing to remember is that when you're pressing the weights overhead, put your emphasis and your focus on the shoulder musculature itself. That's our vertical push.

Shane Sauer 4:19

Now the pair to that is the vertical pull. Okay. This is our lat muscle, that big back muscle that I mentioned at the beginning. We're going to, we're going to do the ACM first. So in the ACM, we're always going to want to stretch and then squeeze like we've been doing. To stretch this muscle, think about taking your arm up and over towards the side. Bending a little bit forward. This should let you feel a stretch in the upper part of the side of your back. Are you finding that one?

Carolyn Rankin 4:45

Mmm hmm.

Shane Sauer 4:45

To add in the rest of [the lat], because this muscle goes all the way down to the hips, you're going to try and let your same side hit drop away. And you're going to tuck the tailbone under a little bit. Did you feel get even more of a stretch?

Carolyn Rankin 4:55


Shane Sauer 4:56

Awesome. So come on back up.

Carolyn Rankin 4:57

Oh, that popped a little bit.

Shane Sauer 4:57

Yeah, that's nice mobility.

Shane Sauer 5:00

So what's going to happen here, when we come into the squeeze, the lat is one of those muscles that will often cramp. So you want to start at a very light squeeze and slowly build into it so you don't get that cramping sensation. Now coming into the squeeze, (I'm going to have you turn a little more like this) with your arm coming from overhead, we're going to roll the bicep in and start to take the arm back behind the body. As you're drawing your arm behind your body toward the spine, are you feeling the squeeze here in the upper part of the back?

Carolyn Rankin 5:27

Mmm hmm.

Shane Sauer 5:27

Awesome. So what we want to do is also get the lower part. The way this is going to happen is you're going to turn toward that side. Lean back a little bit. And now think about your hip coming up into your armpit and your armpit down into your hip. Good. Now while you're still squeezing, that feels like a little bit more, right? Try to take your arm a little further behind. There's a nice... Wholly lat squeeze! And then coming out of that go ahead and take the arm up and over. Back into that stretch where you're leaning, and just letting the hip fall away. Awesome. Come on out. That in itself is one of my favorite workouts.

Shane Sauer 5:59

We also want to be able to apply those functionally into basic exercises. When it comes to the lats, it's our vertical pull. There's not a ton of different things we can do. But the most basic one is a lat pull-down. Go ahead and take a seat, right in the center of the wall bars there. I'm going to bring them bands down to you. Go ahead and reach up and grab those with your hands. And now from here, because we want to create the same motion that we did last time, Carolyn, I want you to take your elbows out nice and wide. Then try to bring them back behind you. Creating that same squeeze. Can you feel that?

Carolyn Rankin 6:29

I can!

Shane Sauer 6:29

Go ahead and stretch up again. You should get some release and a stretch there. And as you pull back down, try to pinch right between the shoulder blades as well. Bringing the elbows into that same spot. Good squeeze. And raise back up. So you can go ahead and let go of the bands. They will shoot up. It's a lot of fun. Come on stand up. So there's a lot of different muscles working in this one as well. But again, the lats are the main focus.

Shane Sauer 6:51

And really, if you want to think about it, anytime we're pulling, it's all about the back musculature. Anytime we're pushing overhead, it's going to be about the shoulders. The reason we want to know this information is so that as you get better at contracting and you know what you're trying to work in each exercise, you'll be able to make the most of those exercises and get the most out of your workout.