You can’t shoot out a canon out of a canoe
I first heard that quote (and many others!) from Charles Poliquin, or possibly during his old ‘PICP 1 Certification’ from one of his employees. It helps hammer home the importance of Structural Balance theory. Not only can paying attention to the stabiliser muscles help people to become stronger, it can increase the longevity of your lifting career (Professional or Recreational) and has much application in Sports Specific transfer from the weight room to competition.
In the video below I demonstrate a quick Shoulder Stabiliser Protocol
A1) Prone Unilateral Trap 3 Raise on 30 Degree Incline, Dumbbell: 6 reps, 4010, 10s rest
A2) Prone Unilateral Trap 3 Raise on 40 Degree Incline, Dumbbell: 12 reps, 3010, 60s rest
B1) Powell Raise: 6 reps, 4010, 10s rest
B2) Half Powell Raise: 12 reps, 2110, 60s rest
*Note: Complete both A1 & A2 on your weaker arm, then complete both on the stronger arm then move onto B series
The way this is set up is we are combining the ‘6-12 Method‘ with the ‘Mechanical Advantage Method‘.
How can you include this into your Training Week?
Prioritise it on upper body days by placing it first for 1-3 sets. It won’t pre-fatigue you enough to affect your session negatively. If you’re worried then train it on arm days where shoulder stabilisers are resting. Another great way of improving remedials is to give them their own day. You could throw in Grip & Calves to beef out the session.
Once you’ve improved your strength to decent levels, you can put less priority on it and send it to the back of the workout. By placing it first it will receive the best training effect as you are fresh and focused, and it will be less likely to be skipped completely.
If you’re mega-weak in your Lower Trap (Trap 3) &/or Scapula Retractors, then consider doing it before and after, essentially using a Double approach.