Who doesn't want to look good in a T-shirt, tank top, or strapless gown? Summer's coming and strong, shapely shoulders are always a style staple, and they can make all the difference when it comes to feeling your best in the season's clothing. The following shoulder exercises can work wonders for men and women, so add them to your workout if you want to shape up those shoulders!
1. Lateral Raise (3 x 10 reps)
You'll need a pair of relatively light dumbbells for this one. Wondering how much weight to use? Click here!
- Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and let your arms naturally hang down by your sides, holding the dumbbells with palms facing inward.
- Raise the dumbbells up to where your arms are parallel to the floor, basically making a "T" shape with your body. Your elbows should be slightly bent, and your palms should be facing downward at the height of the movement.
- Now smoothly lower the dumbbells back to your sides. Try not to "jerk" your arms up when raising the dumbbells, and be sure not to raise them too high (i.e., up to your ears).
This exercise is great for shaping up your anterior and medial deltoid muscles, which are the front and sides of your shoulders.
2. Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press (3 x 10 reps)
Use dumbbells that are a little heavier for this one.
- Sit in a chair or on a weight bench with your back straight, and start off holding the dumbbells up by your ears, palms facing away from you. Each arm should be bent into an "L" shape, with your upper arms roughly parallel to the floor.
- Now push the dumbbells straight up toward the ceiling, but don't lock your elbows at the height of the movement.
- In one smooth motion, lower them back down by your ears to complete the movement. You can raise both arms at the same time, or perform alternating movements.
This exercise helps to shape up your shoulders as well as your triceps, which will add more definition to the entire upper arm area.
3. Seated Row/Dumbbell Row (2 x 15 reps)
If you want to shape up your rear shoulder muscles, a rowing machine will be your best friend.
- You can vary your grip by using different bar types (e.g., flat bar, triangle, etc.) to focus on different areas of the shoulders as well.
- Just be sure to keep your back nice and straight, pull the bar to your chest without jerking it, and don't try to pull too much weight at the expense of using good form.
If you're working out at home, you can do a variation of this exercise by using a chair.
- With one knee on the chair and the other one on the floor, bend over to where your back is basically parallel to the floor, putting one hand on the chair for support.
- With a dumbbell in the other hand, start off by letting your arm hang down, then pull it up towards your side in a rowing motion.
- Smoothly lower it back down, keeping your back nice and flat, and parallel to the floor.
These exercises will definitely show some love to your posterior deltoid muscle, rounding out the look of your shoulders from all sides.
If you're hesitant about baring your shoulders in the coming months, don't be. Put the exercises above into practice now to help you get summer-ready shoulders!