One of the most overlooked but crucial parts of upper body strength is the shoulder. While it may not seem like an area that needs focus, having strong shoulders can help keep you from getting injured while doing other exercises. From yoga to weight lifting, shoulder strength helps to keep you stable and secure. Strong shoulders also help with posture. Long hours driving or hunched over a computer can make your shoulders curl forward over time. So retraining your shoulders with exercise is crucial to good posture and the forward progression of any workout regimen. The key to developing strong shoulders is to focus on all the muscles that wrap around the shoulder, which include the deltoids, traps, lats, and rotator cuff. The shoulder muscles are very delicate and it is a good idea to start off slow. One-shoulder workout per week is a good start, and these exercises will still be effective if you begin with something light such as resistance bands or small weights.
With the knowledge of how important shoulder strength is, now is a great time to start incorporating exercises that focus on shoulders. The following exercises utilize dumbbells, Bosu balls, and resistance bands. For a quick 25 minute workout, you can move through all the exercises listed below, with three sets of reps for each workout. If you’re ready to get started, check out these 10 shoulder exercises that will sculpt your arms like crazy.
This exercise starts in a standing position, with both feet under the hips. Keeping the legs straight, hold dumbbells in your hands with the palms facing inward towards the body and the weights resting on your quads. Lift the elbows wide while pulling the dumbbells up towards the chest. Repeat for 15 reps.
This exercise requires a resistance band and starts with feet shoulder-width apart. Extend arms straight in front of your body at shoulder height, while holding the resistance band in each hand. While engaging your core, pull the band out with fists passing the shoulders. Complete 10 reps.
The halo is an engaging workout that uses one dumbbell while in a kneeling position. Hold the dumbbell in both hands in front of your chest. With arms bent, rotate the dumbbell around the head and back towards the chest in a swivel motion. Do 15 reps in each direction.
Reverse Snow Angel
Lay face down and extend your legs straight while resting your forehead down. The arms stay by the side with palms down. While the arms are straight and palms down, the arms are extended from the side to an overhead position, in a sweeping arc motion. Compete from 12 to 15 reps.
Start in a V position with the feet flat and hands pressed on the floor. With the hips in the air, bend the elbows to bring the head to touch the floor, and press back up repeatedly. Complete 10 reps.
In a plank position, begin to step the feet back as far as you can while maintaining control of hip level. Then return the feet to normal position, and repeat. Complete 10 reps.
Start in a tabletop position, with the body aligned straight. Move the body down to have a seat on the floor, and use arms, core, and legs to lift back into tabletop position. Repeat 10 times.
Start standing, with the resistance band stretched under one foot and hands holding both ends of the band. Keep arms straight without bending arms, and lift arms up to shoulder height. Repeat 12 times.
Start in a plank position and begin walking toes forward with small steps. With each step bring the body into a “V” position keeping the legs and upper body as straight as possible. Walk back into a plank using the same small steps. Do 10 reps.
Just like the front raise, stretch the resistance band under the foot with each hand holding the ends of the band. Lift arms from the side of the body up to shoulder level, with arms extended wide. Repeat 12 reps.