Q and A – Aug 3, 2012

challenge workouts

Thanks for all the helpful advice in your emails. I do have a question. I do bootcamp or HIIT style training and in that there are a lot of exercises on toes and hands. I am wondering what I can do daily to strengthen my shoulders more as they fail prior to the core or other parts of arms I am trying to train. Appreciate any help you may have, thanks!


Hi Ajay,

Thanks for your question.

This can be a problem, when one muscle group is the weak link.

It’s likely that it’s not only your shoulders that are failing, but more likely your triceps.

Here’s a great body weight tricep exercise that you can do to strengthen the triceps, shoulders and it will strengthen the core as well:


Get Up from Shawna Kaminski on Vimeo.


Strengthening through the front delt particularly as well as the triceps may help, this can be done with the DB shoulder press:

Shawna K. DB shoulder press from Shawna Kaminski on Vimeo.


I wouldn’t suggest doing DB shoulder presses daily, but I would suggest adding them to your routine.

The rotator cuff can be the weak link so strengthening those muscles is important. Here’s a video on rotator cuff strengthening:


This video is from a dude that’s helping volleyball players, but no matter, the exercises are the same and I haven’t had a chance to make a video for you. The only thing I’d suggest is when doing the second exercise (external rotation), rest the elbow on a bench.

I hope this helps with shoulder/tricep strengthening. Let me know how you progress,



What would you suggest for the duration of the up/downs or get ups?  Do for time or work for a number or reps?  

I guess I could do it like a challenge and try to do 100 a day for 30 days and once a week check my max reps for one set (check progress).  I have done this with push-ups and its lots of fun.
One last thing.  I did notice in the db press you go past 90 degrees at the bottom.  Is that to get a better stretch in the shoulders?

Dear Ajay,

To keep variety up with the get ups, or the up/downs, I suggest one day doing 3 sets of 30 seconds (you can count reps if you want at the same time to quantify your progress) and then next day, do 3 sets of 15, 12 and 10 per arm. Soon you’ll find that the sets of 15, 12 and 10 will get easier. When that happens, you can up the reps or you may find that you’ve reached your goal. That goal being that your core fails before your shoulders/triceps.

I try to come quite deep on the shoulder press to work the full range of motion.

Thanks for your great questions Ajay, it allows me to help you as well as others that may have a similar question.



What’s a renegade row?

Here you go Monika:

Shawna K. Renegade Push Up from Shawna Kaminski on Vimeo.



I’m more than happy to answer your fitness questions. Just ask on the blog, or fire them off to me at Shawna.kaminski@gmail.com

As well, if you want a lot more questions answered and a ‘done for you’ plan, you can’t go wrong with my program that you can do at home or on the go.