Hello Weight Loss Challengers! I hope that your week has been going well! I’m so excited because this week we will be talking about shoulder training, and I love training shoulders. When you have well developed shoulders, it not only looks great, it helps keep you injury free. Your shoulders are involved in so many upper body movements, that neglecting these muscles can lead to injury and pain.
A little bit about the shoulder: it consists of the deltoids (anterior, lateral, and posterior) which is what you see when you look at your shoulder, and the rotator cuff group, which consists of the smaller muscles that help stabilize the joint. It’s important to work and strengthen all aspects of the shoulder. Often we tend to have overdeveloped anterior deltoids and underdeveloped posterior deltoids, and this imbalance can lead to pain and injury. In order to avoid this, we will hit all aspects of shoulder training. Here are a few exercises that will lead to strength gains, and will also build a great looking set of shoulders!
- Dumbbell Overhead Press: This compound movement will mostly hit the anterior deltoid and the triceps. Stand with your feet about shoulder width apart and your knees slightly bent. Hold your dumbbells just above your shoulders with your arms bent and your palms facing in toward your body. From this starting position, keep your core engaged and press the dumbbells up until your arms are extended, but never locked out at the elbow joint. Lower the weight back to the starting position with control. Complete three to four sets of 8 to 12 reps with about one minute rest between each set.
- Dumbbell Lateral Raise: This exercise will target the lateral deltoid whose function is shoulder abduction. Stand with your feet about shoulder width apart with a slight bend in the knees. Hold a dumbbell in each hand with your arms extended at your sides. Keeping your core engaged and your elbows slightly bent, lift the weight out to the side and up to shoulder height. Slowly lower the weight with control back to the starting position. Repeat this exercise for three to four sets of 8 to 12 reps, resting about one minute between sets.
- Seated Bent Over Lateral Raise: This exercise will target your posterior delts, which are often underdeveloped. Any type of rowing movement will also target your posterior delts, so try to incorporate rowing movements with cable machines or bands if those are available to you. It’s important to make sure you target rear delts when training because it’s often neglected, leading to weakness and possible injury. For the bent over lateral raise, begin by sitting down on a bench with a light set of dumbbells in your hands. Bend forward keeping your back straight and your head in line with the spine. The dumbbells will be in your hands and your palms should be facing one another. Keeping your core engaged and your back straight, lift the dumbbells out to the side until your arms are parallel to the floor. Hold for one second and then lower the weights with control. Repeat this exercise for three to four sets of 8 to 12 reps with a one minute rest between each exercise.
- Goalpost/Scarecrow: This will help strengthen your rotator cuff. Be sure to use very light weights. Holding very light dumbbells in your hands, begin with your arms at shoulder height and elbows bent to 90 degrees. Your palms should be facing the floor. From this position rotate your shoulders to bring your your hands up toward the ceiling so your arms look like a goalpost. Slowly lower the weight back to the starting position with control. Complete two to three sets of 10 reps with a minute rest between each set.
Have fun adding in these exercises and, as always, see me at the studio with any questions; or, better yet, come take a total body training with me!!