Repetitive overhead pressing with a standard barbell can not only limit progress and increase likelihood of injury — it's also incredibly boring. In order to side-steps these weight training obstacles (and just to have more fun in your programming), we have put together a compilation of all exercise dedicated to your shoulders. These variations allow you to use different equipment and get creative with exercise selection and training techniques.

First, we watch Mark Watt's shoulder pre-hab videos with bands and blast straps to strengthen and warm-up the rotator cuff muscles. Then, we watch Mark discuss his progression for the overhead press. Several EliteFTS™ Team Members show us some of their "go-to" variations when it comes time to strengthen their delts.

Elitefts™ Mini-Band Shoulder Circuit (high position)

Elitefts™ Director of Education Mark Watts explains a quick shoulder pre-habilitation circuit using the elitefts™ micro mini-bands, mini-bands, and monster mini-bands in the Collegiate Power Rack while elitefts columnist Derek Dolgner demonstrates.

This circuit is beneficial to athletes in a team setting due to the:

  1. Quick transition time between exercises
  2. Interchangeability of bands
  3. Ability to quickly adjust for multiple attachment heights

The are six exercises performed in this video (two for each band. The specific exercises performed are:

  1. High Position 45 degree External Rotation (crossed bands)
  2. High Position External Rotation
  3. Standing Scarecrows
  4. Reverse Flyes
  5. Face Pulls (crossed bands)
  6. Serrano Press


These six movements address critical components of shoulder stability and deceleration properties of the throwing motion. The combination of transverse/ sagittal plane abduction, external rotation, scapular retraction, and scapular depression all aid in preventative measures for the shoulder, specifically for high velocity movements such as throwing, serving or shooting (lacrosse).

This circuit can be adapted to meet any athletes needs by the following measures:

Band Tension:

  1. Micro Mini-Bands
  2. Mini-Bands
  3. Monster Mini-Bands


  1. Band Position — Height of the Knot
  2. Body Position — Distance from Rack
  3. Hand Position — Specific Grip (thumb up, palms down, etc.)

Other movements that can be done with this set up include:

  1. Standing Chest Fly
  2. Standing Chest Press
  3. Facepull/ External Rotation Combo
  4. Facepull/ External Rotation/ Serrano Press Combo
  5. Straight Arm Pull-Down

Elitefts™ Blast Strap Shoulder Circuit

Seated Lateral Raise With Chains

Mountain Dog Diet and Training founder John Meadows performing side raises with elitefts chains with one static hold for the last rep.

The chains add accommodating resistance and make the exercise much harder at the top of the movement.  This enhances the muscular contraction and intensifies the total time-under-tension.

Header image courtesy of Jeffrey Sygo at