Here’s yet another “old-school” exercise – Crucifix Flyes - that may appear a little alien to you, but may be a valuable addition to your shoulder workout to increase variety and aid mobility. My issue with many “functional” exercises performed in gyms is that they are not truly practical and useful, whereas some less attractive exercises working less muscle groups are, namely, Crucifix Flyes. Look at the exercise movement (refer to photos). How many times do you repeat this, whether it’s taking something out of the cupboard, painting, waving erratically, cleaning the windows, washing the car, etc? Have you ever “twinged” your shoulder performing any of these tasks or just felt general muscle soreness afterward? If so, read on. If not, make sure that you don’t and read on.
Similarly to other flye and stiff-arm exercises I’ve demonstrated, the hand and arm move through an arc while the elbow is kept at a constant angle (held stiff). Because these exercises use the arms as levers at their longest possible length, the amount of weight that can be lifted is significantly reduced. This is not an exercise for ego’s, but, if you’ve got increased mobility, are injury-free, and your shoulder complex is strong in all plains of movement, then, this will transfer to other aspects of your workout and you will ultimately become stronger both inside and outside of the gym. It might help if I explain that this exercise came to be in my repertoire many years ago by following the training exploits of 2001 World’s Strongest Man Svend “Viking Power” Karlsen. However, I wouldn’t advocate a heavy weight to perform this exercise. Instead, just light mobility work and only on the proviso that you suffer no impingement or any other contraindication. Remember, we’re in the game of keeping you injury-free and progressing, not aggravation of or risking further injury.
An example of how I incorporate Crucifix Flyes in to my training, here’s a giant-set shoulder mobility workout that I choose to perform: External Rotation, Stiff-Arm Circles (forward), Stiff-Arm Circles (backward), and Crucifix Flyes. Watch a video demonstration here:
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Matt @ Gym Professor