The One Move You Need To Sculpt Seriously Sexy Shoulders

Because summer's coming...


Michelle October |

Loaded guns? Check. Sexy shoulders? Check. We’re going to show you how to sculpt a sizzling upper body.

So your push-ups are next level. Bench dips… Easy. What’s next? It’s time to raise your game. Literally. Get in on parallel-bar dips. Even if you’re not yet a pro at the other moves, you’ll get next-level conditioning: the kind that’ll help you reach other fitness goals, like that ever-elusive handstand. That’s because parallel-bar dips are functional. “They involve your ability to lift and move the weight of your own body,” says Marelize Esterhuizen, a Huba Fitness group and personal trainer.

The Low-Down On Parallel Bar Dips

When you’re doing this move, your body functions as a unit, which doesn’t happen during other isolating moves that focus on one muscle at a time. Translation: faster, better gains. You’ll target your whole upper body and also improve shoulder stability, says Ria Sandenbergh, chairperson of Sport Physiotherapy South Africa.

READ MORE: “These Are The 4 Exercises That Helped Me Lose 17 Kilos In 3 Months”

At first, it may be hard, so only do as much as you can, without reaching muscle failure, says Sandenbergh. Once you’re comfortable, work your way up to two sets of 10 to 12 reps. “Dips can be manipulated to target different muscles,” says Esterhuizen. If you incline your upper body forward as you dip, you’ll get more of a chest workout. If you stay upright, your triceps will feel the burn. And, since they’re such a major move, tack them on at the end of your upper body session. That way, says Esterhuizen, your shoulders are already warmed up.

READ MORE: 3 Mistakes That Are Stopping You From Building Lean Muscle

Mix up those moves and make it a full-on workout with these pro tips…

Add Weight

Hold a dumbbell between your legs. “But keep the added weight at something you can handle for at least eight reps.” – Marelize Esterhuizen, Huba Fitness group and personal trainer

Add More Muscle

Stick your legs out in front of you. “You’ll work your hip flexors and core stabilisers. Just make sure you don’t arch your back.” – Ria Sandenbergh, chairperson of Sport Physiotherapy SA

Add More Moves

“Tuck your knees in and raise them after every dip.” You’ll target your abs. – Sanchia du Preez, boxing instructor (pictured)

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Signs You’re Doing It Wrong

1/ You’re dipping too low. “Don’t lower yourself further than 90 degrees; this will stress your shoulders,” says Esterhuizen.

2/ You’re locking your elbows. Locking your arms at the top will stress your joints and could lead to injury, explains Esterhuizen.

3/ You’re swinging your body. Slow down, Tarzan. This is a feat of strength and stability. Control the movement through the whole range of motion, says Sandenbergh.

READ MORE ON: Fitness Fitness Advice