Man or woman, everyone needs to train their shoulders. For men, having big, broad shoulders shows strength and masculinity. For women, toned and shapely shoulders are just sexy. When women wear dresses or tank tops, their shoulders are always exposed, so it's important they incorporate a shoulder workout into their routine. Strong shoulders improve your posture and just give you an overall better look in your whole physique.
The shoulder, also called the deltoid, is pretty much a big ball-and-socket joint. You shoulders consist of the anterior deltoid, lateral deltoid and posterior deltoid. To get big, shapely shoulders, you must work out each part of the deltoid. The anterior deltoid is located in the front of the shoulder. The lateral deltoids are the located on the sides of the shoulder and the posterior deltoid, as I'm sure you guessed, is located in the back of the shoulder.
Before beginning these shoulder exercises, it's important to warm up. Perform 10-15 minutes of light cardio, then do some dynamic stretches focusing on the shoulders.
Arm Swings. Stand up tall with your back straight and shoulders back. Hold both of your arms out at your side a little lower than shoulder height. Slowly begin to swing your arms in front of your body, as if you were to hug yourself. Repeat this motion continuously for about 20-30 seconds.
Arm Circles. Standing up straight, place your hands on your shoulders. Keeping your elbows bent, begin rotating your shoulders in a circular motion in one direction. Repeat this movement for a couple of reps and reverse the direction.
1. Shoulder Press. This move focuses on your anterior deltoid. The secondary muscle working is your lateral deltoid. This move can be done standing, but if you are lifting heavier, it is recommended to perform it sitting with a back support.
To perform this exercise: Grab a set of dumbbells and sit in the chair with your feet flat on the floor and your back straight and shoulders tall. Bring the dumbbells up to a little more than shoulder height keeping your wrists facing out. Press the dumbbells up until your arms are extended overhead exhaling as you push up. Inhale as you slowly bring the dumbbells back down to shoulder height. Continue this move for the desired number of reps. It is important to keep your back straight and shoulders up. Try not to arch your back too much beyond what's natural.
2. Anterior Raises. The anterior raise focuses solely on the anterior deltoid. All you need is a set of dumbbells. This move is difficult so it is recommended to choose a weight that is a little lighter than what you would lift for the shoulder press.
To perform this exercise: Stand up straight with feet shoulder width apart. Bring your shoulders back, chest up, back straight and abs tight. Bring your arms to the front of your body, holding the dumbbells with your wrists facing in toward you. Slowly bring your arms straight up keeping a slight bend in your elbow. Raise them to about a little higher than shoulder height. Slowly bring the weights down and repeat this move. Do this exercise for the desired number of reps.
3. Lateral Raises. Yep, you guessed it: These raises work the lateral (side) delts. This move is very similar to the anterior raise but instead of bringing your arms to the front of your body, you are going to bring them out to the sides.
To perform this exercise: Stand up straight with your feet a little narrower than shoulder width apart. Bend forward slightly, making sure you do not round your shoulders and you do not sink your chest. Keep your shoulders straight, chest up, and abs in. Holding a dumbbell in each hand, bring your arms out to the sides of your body until you reach shoulder height. Remember to keep a slight bend in your elbow as you perform this move. Lower your arms back down to your sides. Repeat this move for the desired number of reps.
Bonus Tip: For both the anterior raise and lateral raise, keep your body still throughout the entire movement. Swinging your body to get the dumbbells up is not correct form. This could result in injury and will not target the delts in the way the move is intended. The only movement that should be made is the raising of the arms. If you find yourself swinging your body to get the weights up to shoulder height, decrease your weight and start over.
4.Bent-Over Rear Delt Fly. This move targets the back of your shoulder, the posterior (rear) deltoid. It also works the lateral deltoids. It's a really great move that will definitely show improvement in your shoulders.
To perform this move: Stand up straight with your feet hip width apart. You are going to slightly bend your body, hinging at your hips. The bent over position is what really targets the rear delt. Keep your back straight, chest up and abs tight. Holding a dumbbell in each hand, your arms should be hanging down in the middle in front of your body. Slowly raise the dumbbells to the sides of your body at about shoulder height. Lower your arms back to the starting position and repeat for the desired number of reps.
5. Upright Row. This move targets the anterior and lateral deltoid muscles. You can do this exercise with a pair of dumbbells or a barbell.
To perform this exercise: Stand with your legs a little wider than shoulder width apart. Either grab the barbell or a dumbbell in each hand, having your arms hanging in front of you with your palms facing in towards the body. Stand up straight with your shoulder back, chest up, and abs tight. Lift your arms up, keeping your elbows bent until your elbows are shoulder height. Slowly lower your arms back down the starting position.
Bonus Tip: After performing a shoulder routine, it's vital to stretch the shoulders after, using static stretches. Focus on stretches that target all parts of the shoulder. Hold each stretch for 20-30 seconds.
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