Ah, the shoulders.
Shoulder workouts are probably among the most neglected exercises when it comes to working out. However, it is nice to have toned shoulders for the summer season, since that body part is pretty much exposed everyday for three months. Having toned shoulders makes us look stronger and the rest of our bodies more toned. For those of you who want to work on your shoulders in time for summer, have no fear, I have compiled a list of five doable shoulder workouts to get you ready for the upcoming season!
1. Shoulder Press
The most popular shoulder exercise (as it lies in the name), the shoulder press is a relatively simple concept. You’ll need a bar, or two dumbbells. Stand perfectly straight, legs shoulder width apart. Raise your bar or your two dumbbells over your head, and try to hold for a few seconds before bringing it back down.
If you’re using two dumbbells instead of a bar, bring your dumbbells to touch eachother at the top. That way, you’re actually doing the full exercise.
2. Dumbbell Front Raises
Grab a dumbbell for each hand, and choose a lighter weight to begin if this is your first time doing this exercise. Stand straight with your legs shoulder width apart. Hold out your arms with the dumbbells and stop when they are level with your shoulders.
Repeat the exercise for about twelve to fifteen reps, and up the weight if you feel it is too light. You should feel it on the sides of your shoulders.
3. Lateral Raises
Grab a dumbbell per hand once again. Using the same stance as before (legs shoulder width apart and back perfectly straight), begin to laterally raise both of your arms. Bring the raise to slightly above shoulder level. If you want to feel the burn a little more, bring your arms back down super slowly.
You can transform this shoulder workout into another with a minor adjustment to your stance. If you bend your chest forward, and keep your legs hip width apart, the exercise becomes an upright row. The concept is the same, but you can throw this shoulder workout in for some variation.
Push-ups, while hated by most, actually work out more than you might think (that’s why they hurt so much). The great thing about push-ups is that they’re versatile. For those of you who feel that they haven’t gotten the regular push-up down yet, you can always to the adjusted one, in which you place your knees together on the ground and lift your calves. By doing this, you relieve pressure off your upper body.
Push-ups are definitely a strength and toning workout. Start by seeing how many you can do in a row, and then follow up with another two sets of those reps.
5. Shoulder Shrug
And finally, for the last of our shoulder workouts, the shoulder shrug.
I didn’t actually know about this workout for a while. Although not as commonly recognized, the shoulder shrug is harder than it looks. Believe me, did I underestimate this one.
Grab a dumbbell per hand, preferably a heavier weight. The exercise is simple; shrug. Lift your shoulder up in an exaggerated shrug, and hold. The longer you hold, the more this shoulder workout will burn, and by consequence, the more it’ll tone. Recommended hold time is about twenty seconds, but depending on your fitness level, judge it yourself; you wouldn’t want to strain anything!