Sculpted & Sexy Shoulders
Why work your shoulders?
Aside from looking great, your shoulders are involved in just about everything you do so exercising them will make daily functioning that much easier. In addition, your resistance training program should target all of your muscle groups, so make sure your routine is well-rounded. Your shoulder muscles are fairly small, so you may not be able to use as much weight as you can for your chest or your back. 1 In this article I will focus on your medial and posterior deltoids.
There are three areas of your shoulder: the anterior (front) deltoid, the lateral (side) deltoid, and the posterior (rear) deltoid. While this is all one muscle, it is possible to target specific areas with different exercises. The front deltoid is responsible for flexing and rotating the arm inward. The side deltoid’s function is to move the arm away from the body (abduction). The rear deltoid extends the arm and rotates the arm outward.2 There are also your Rotator Cuff Muscles (SITS) but I will save that for another time.
The Shoulder Roll
The Shoulder Roll (which I do in my classes is one of the participants favorites – it is so simple and effective) may be the perfect exercise for you and a simple solution for hunched shoulders before doing the shoulder exercises below. Ester Gokhale (http://www.gokhalemethod.com/blog), states that, “Whether you have back pain, neck pain, bunions, or carpal tunnel syndrome, poor posture could be contributing to your problem. In our experience, improving the body’s physical structure is beneficial for conditions as diverse as fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome and depression.”
- Move one shoulder forward, upward and as far back as you comfortably can without moving your body significantly.
- Gently slide your shoulder blade down along your spine. You may feel your shoulder settles further back than normal and feels as though the shoulder soft tissue has been “ratcheted” back a notch.
- Repeat on the other side
Benefits of this simple exercise can include:
- Better circulation to and from the arms
- Greater endurance for repetitive tasks
- Improved breathing pattern
- Decreased hunching in the upper back
- Improved appearance
Proper Standing posture is the most important part of any exercise. Make sure your posture is correct before starting any exercise
- Head centered over spine
- Open shoulders
- Tipped pelvis
- Weight on heels equally weighted on both feet
3 great exercises to get you going!
Lateral shoulder raise
When lifting the weights,
- Initiate the movement from your medial deltoids not your hands.
- Slowly push your arms to the floor and then lift them up to shoulder height keeping your shoulder blades engaged.
- Start with no weights, progress to light weights. I don’t use anything heavier than 5lbs in my class for medial raises. If properly executed the weights should feel very heavy as you are focusing on the muscle to lift not momentum.
Incorrect Posture below
Love the Shoulder Press
- Standing with proper posture, use weights that you are comfortable lifting over your head. Often times in class we will use different weights in each hand to challenge the core and other muscles in your body.
- Slowly engage the medial deltoid and lift the weights over your head. You can use the full range of motion or any degree of it, use any speed as long as you maintain control and use muscles properly.
You can even challenge yourself and stand on one foot! Add alternating your arms for even more of a core challenge!
Sexy Shoulder Band work
- With proper posture, use the band at any tension that you desire.
- Pull the band across your chest using your back muscles (not your arms) – to achieve this, engage your “lats” and rhomboids – then with both arms or one at a time pull the band using your back muscles – not your arms.
- Add a squat, a lunge or stand on one leg…the options are endless but don’t lose focus of using your back muscles.
- For variations, you can pull the band across the belly button to engage the posterior deltoids differently, add pulses, slow the movement or quicken it.
I love using gravity and the back muscles differently by laying down on the floor with the band underneath your chest.
- Engage the back muscles and then lift the arms.
- Change the angle of the palms, add circles, change the tempo…again so many options but remember the point of the exercise – to strengthen the posterior deltoids and back muscles.
Let me know if you have any questions about technique and I’d love to hear how you work your shoulders!
You can check out this video for some shoulder tips https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ARw3Y84xhZM
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Tanya Morrison has been in the Health/Wellness and Fitness Field for over two decades and has coached and trained many clients during this time. She is a certified Personal Trainer, Precision Nutrition Coach, Pilates/Aerobics/Yoga Instructor and more. She is the creator of the Busy Mama Reboot 28 day program, 10 Day Body Reset Detox, 30 Days to a New You, Holistic Weight Management System and many more on-line programs. To find out more about these life changing programs check out the testimonials and information at www.moveyourbody.ca
Tanya has created FREE Healthy Living Challenges that you can sign up for HERE, because even though we know all this “healthy stuff” it’s good to be reminded to keep it in our awareness. Tanya created the Busy Mama Healthy Mama Facebook page so that like-minded mama’s could get great healthy information and recipes in a fun and light-hearted way.
Tanya also teaches many different classes at Move Your Body Studio in Bobcaygeon, www.moveyourbody.ca and has written Healthy Snacks for Kids, Get the Skinny on Skinny Jeans & Living Vibrantly with Raw Goodness – Your Guide to Juicing & Blending, the 21 Laws of Irrefutable Fat Loss, How to Get Rid of Cellulite and more. Her blog, www.tanyamorrison.ca has lots of great articles to help you navigate your way to the healthy life you want, tons of recipes and great tips!
Tanya presents High Performance Nutrition for Kids and Teens, How to Become an Efficient Fat Burner, hosts Raw Smoothie Parties and many more presentations. Please contact her to set up your presentation.
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