Preparing Americans to Serve in the Military,
Special Ops, Police, & Fire Fighting

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Mission:  We prepare men and women for any tactical profession requiring a fitness test and advanced training. 
Your fitness level may one day be the difference between life and death.  It pays to fit fitness into your schedule.
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Navy SEAL Info  |   Army & SF Info  |   USMC Info |   Special Ops Info FBI Training Info

Shoulder Injury Prevention
AKA - Light Weight Shoulder Workout

I have received many emails this week concerning past injuries of and readers. According to Navy Bureau of Medicine, the top three sport injury surgeries done on its members are:

- Shoulders 
- Knees 
- Lower Back 

This week my focus is on the number one most injured joint in our bodies - the Shoulder. The shoulder is our most versatile joint. There is no other joint that can lift up, down, forward, backward, rotate left and right, or throw. The only joint in our body built similarly is the hip. But with the shoulder's versatility comes its weakness. It is commonly injured due to tendonitis, ligament pulls, bursitis, dislocations, separations, and rotator cuff injuries. If you have had any of these injuries in the past or you want to help prevent shoulder injuries in the future, try the Light Weight Shoulder Workout below. This workout works the rotator cuff muscles in an method that is highly effective for ANYBODY in the gym.

Many people scoff when I show them this workout and hand them the 5lb dumbbells, but I have been doing this cycle of exercises for over 15 years now with outstanding results (post shoulder injury rehab).  I liked this super set of workouts so much, I make sure I do it any upper body PT / lift day and rarely go over 5-7 lbs with dumbbells.  I recommend starting out with 3lb dumbbells and build up to 5 lb dumbbells.  After some time and you can do this workout without grimacing and struggling then try 5-8lb DBs.

This workout is actually one used by many physical therapists and requires ONLY light weights - in fact no heavier than FIVE pound dumbbells is recommended. Start by using no weights at all and only lift "the air". You will find that the air gets heavy on these small muscles of the shoulder. But these are the muscles that no one exercises. Most people will lift too heavy amounts of weight over their head and cause an injury mainly due to lack of stabilization of the shoulder joint. By exercising all of the muscles in the shoulder as with the Light Weight Shoulder Workout, you will build the balance needed in the shoulder to help prevent injuries and build nice, tone shoulders and arms. Try it below and see for yourself: 

The Light Weight Shoulder Workout (with dumbbells) 

Do the following sequence of exercises non-stop for ten reps each: 
Lateral Raises - 10 (palms down) 
Lateral Raises - 10 (thumbs up) 
Lateral Raises - 10 (thumbs down) 
Front Raises - 10 (thumbs up) 
Cross overs - 10 (palms facing away from you)
Military press - 10 (see pics below)

See embdded video of this 2-3 minute shoulder workout:

LATERAL RAISE - A safe and effective shoulder exercise with light weights. Over 5 pound dumbbells is not recommended for this exercise. Keep your knees slightly bent, shoulder back, and your chest high. Lift weights parallel to ground in a smooth controlled motion, keep your palms facing the ground. Follow the next 5 exercises without stopping. 

THUMBS UP - After performing 10 regular lateral raises, do 10 lateral raises with your thumbs up, touching your hips with your palms facing away from you and raising your arms no higher than shoulder height. 

THUMBS DOWN - Continue with side lateral raises. As you lift your arms upward to shoulder height, keep your thumbs down. 
Repeat for 10 reps.

FRONT RAISE (THUMBS UP) - Now, for 10 more repetitions, time to work your front deltoids. Lift the dumbbells from your waist to shoulder height keeping your thumbs up. 

CROSS OVERS - With your palms facing away from you and arms relaxed in front of your hips, bring your arms up and over your head as if you were doing a jumping jack (without jumping). Cross your arms IN FRONT of your head and bring them back to your hips for 10 repetitions.  
MILITARY PRESS - Place one foot ahead of the other as shown and knees slightly bent to reduce strain on your lower back. Exhale as you push the weights over your head for 10 final repetitions in the mega-shoulder pump workout.. Slowly lower them to shoulder height and repeat. Muscles used are shoulders and triceps (back of arm).  

Do this routine during any upper-body day workout. Each of the Fitness Books has this great workout explained and placed throughout the books. Check out or email for answers to any of your questions.


Stew Smith is a former Navy SEAL and fitness author certified as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) with the
National Strength and Conditioning Association. If you are interested in starting a workout program to create a healthy
lifestyle - check out the
Fitness eBook store and the Stew Smith article archive at

 To contact Stew with your comments and questions, just e-mail him 

Complete List of Books, eBooks, DVDs

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Published Books / DVDs / APPs

NEW - Tactical Fitness - Featuring the Dirty Dozen    |  More Info   |  Book only
The Navy SEAL Weight Training Workout   |  More info   |  Book only
Complete Guide to Navy SEAL Fitness
     |    More Info     | 
Book / DVD
Maximum Fitness - CrossTraining     |    More Info     |  Book only
The Special Operations Workout     |   More Info     |     Book only
The SWAT Workout - From Recruit to SWAT      |  More Info    |  Book only
The Combat Swimmer Stroke Video     |  More Info   |  Download MP4
The Pre-Habit Workout     |  More Info  |  DVD only

New Fitness APPs Navy SEAL, FBI, Pushup. Pullups   |  More Info    |  APPS

The Complete List of Stew Smith's eBooks / Books:


Fitness for All Levels of Fitness

The 90 Day Beginner Guide to Fitness    |  More Info  |  eBook, Book

Reclaim Your Life - The Erin O'Neill Program     |  More Info   eBook only

Veteran's Fitness - Baby Boomer and a Flat Stomach     |  More Info   eBook only

The Diabetic Prevention Workout   |  More Info   |   eBook only 

The Busy Executive Workout Routine    |  eBook only

Advanced Maintenance and Recovery Program   |  More Info   |  eBook only

The TRX Workout eBook     |  More Info   eBook only

  - Circuit Training 101 eBook      |  More Info   eBook only

 Obstacle Course Race eBook      |  More Info   eBook only

The Special Forces Physical Fitness Workouts


Combat Conditioning Workout       |  More Info  |  eBook, Book

Navy SEAL Workout Phase 1:  Beginner       |  More Info  |    eBook, Book

Navy SEAL Workout Phase 2 - 3:  Intermediate     |  More Info   eBook, Book


Navy SEAL Workout Phase 4  Grinder PT      |  More Info   eBook, Book

Navy SWCC Workout       |  More Info    |    eBook, Book


Army Special Forces / Ranger Workout  | More Info SF /  Ranger  eBook, Book


USMC RECON Workout       |  More Info  |  eBook, Book


Air Force PJ / CCT Workout      |  More Info  |  eBook, Book


The Coast Guard Rescue Swimmer Workout      |  More Info   eBook, Book


The Army Air Assault School Workout     More Info   eBook only


The Army Airborne Workout     More Info   eBook only


NEW - Upper Body Round Robin (UBRR)    More Info   eBook only


The OCS, ROTC, Service Academy, & Bootcamp Workouts

The USMC IST and PFT Workout      More Info   eBook only


USMC OCS / TBS Workout       |  More Info   eBook, Book


The Service Academy Workout     More Info   eBook, Book


Navy, Air Force, Marine Corp Bootcamp Workout   More Info   eBook, Book


The Army OCS and PFT Workout    More Info   eBook, Book


NEW Army PRT and Combat Readiness Test Workout    More Info   eBook only


The PFT Bible - Military / Police Standard PFT    |  More Info   eBook, Book


The Law Enforcement Physical Fitness Test Workouts


The FBI Academy / PFT Prep Workout (Vol 1 and 2)      |  More Info   eBook, Book


The DEA Prep Workout      More Info   eBook only


The FLETC Prep Workout - Ace the PEB      More Info   eBook, Book


The PFT Bible - Military / Police Standard PFT      |  More Info   eBook, Book


The Fire Fighter Workout       |  More Info   eBook, Book





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