5 Moves That’ll Help You Get Strong, Scuplted Shoulders

Want to get sultry shoulders by spring?


Women's Health |

Want to get sultry shoulders by spring? To look drop-dead gorgeous in that strappy bikini, get acquainted with these moves from Richard Woolrich, biokineticist and personal trainer at Virgin Active

“Women often spend so much of their time in the gym working on abs and legs that they often neglect their upper bodies, especially their shoulders,” says Woolrich.

The shoulder is technically split into three separate muscles  the front, middle and rear, anchoring either side of the neck. He says shapely and well-defined shoulders are a must have if you want to walk the red carpet of being toned and healthy.

These five exercises will do the trick to get you closer to strong, shapely shoulders… 

Some key points to remember with the exercises below:
• Focus on having a controlled breathing pattern and avoid holding your breath during these exercises.
• For all the standing exercises, make sure you stand with feet shoulder-width apart and a slight bend in the knees.
• Try to maintain the tension during the entire movement whether you are lifting or pushing up and more importantly during the lowering phase. Weights that are too heavy only make you engage your neck muscles, which defeats the purpose of the exercise. Rather lift lighter weights so that you can isolate the shoulder muscles without using the neck muscles.
• Focus on good technique and if you can feel you are losing form, either reduce repetitions or use lighter weights.

Move 1: Frontal raises

frontal-raise
For the front of the shoulder
Stand with dumbbells in both hands resting on thighs, knuckles facing forward. Raise the dumbbells in front of you to shoulder height maintaining a slight bend at the elbow, lower slowly and repeat. Do not swing or use momentum to lift the dumbbells.

Beginners can start with 2 sets and aim to build up to 4 sets of 10-15 repetitions.

Move 2: Lateral raises

Lateral-raises-va
For the middle of the shoulder
Stand with dumbbells in both hands resting at your side, or held slightly in front of your body, with palms facing your body. Maintaining a slight bend in the elbow, raise the dumbbells laterally (out to the sides) to shoulder height. Lower slowly and repeat.

Beginners can start with 2 sets and aim to build up to 4 sets of 10-15 repetitions.

Move 3: Shoulder press or Arni press

arnold-press
Seated on a bench with back straight, hold dumbbells in each hand, in front of your body at about upper-chest height with your palms facing your body and elbows bent. Raise the dumbbells above your head as you rotate the palms of your hands until they are facing forwards. Lower to the start position and repeat.

Beginners can start with 2 sets and aim to build up to 4 sets of 10-15 repetitions.

Move 4: Standing bent over reverse flies

bent-over-flies
For the back of the shoulder
Stand with dumbbells in both hands, bend your knees slightly and bring your torso forward by bending at the waist (as if taking a bow), until you feel tension coming into the hamstrings. Remember to keep your back straight. Your hamstring flexibility will determine how far over you can bend. Your arms should be hanging in front of your chest and palms facing each other. Raise the dumbbells laterally out to the sides, with a slight bend in the elbow, squeezing the shoulder blades together, which helps stability. Beginners can start with 2 sets and aim to build up to 4 sets of 10-15 repetitions.

Move 5: Battle ropes (alternating waves)

battle-rope-waves
Battle ropes are heavy ropes, which are anchored to a pillar or pole usually about 5-10 metres away. This new piece of functional equipment can now be seen in most of the Virgin Active health clubs – usually in a studio. Battle ropes are great to bring in a cardiovascular stimulus to your workout whilst strengthening the shoulders.

Stand in front of the rope and take an end in each hand. Begin the movement by lifting one arm at a time to no higher than shoulder height. Continue alternating your left and right arms as fast as possible whilst still remaining in control. You know you are doing the exercise right when the ropes are rippling along the floor in a wavelike motion with very little noise.

Aim for 2-4 sets of about 30-45 seconds in duration.

Remember: It is normal to feel a little stiff after the first few sessions, but in no time you will be waiting for spring so you can show up with ‘red carpet’ shoulders.

READ MORE ON: Fitness Workouts

Enable Notifications    Ok No thanks