Before you start your program, it is important to warm-up!
The goals of the general warm-up is to elevate your core body temperature to help loosen up your muscles, ligament, joints and nerves. Plus, it also increases your heart rate giving you a better flow of oxygen and nutrients to your muscles. As a general rule, your warm-up should consist of a 5-10 minute jog on a treadmill or stationary bike. This is then followed by what is called a "specific warm-up." This warm-up mimics the exercises you are about to perform but on an easier scale.
2 excellent shoulder specific warm-up exercises are:
Begin the exercise with your arms straight out by your sides. Slowly make circles with each outstretched arm, about one foot in diameter. Continue the clockwise circular motion for ten seconds, stop and repeat in a counter clockwise motion.
Hold your arms at your side with your elbows straight and your thumbs pointed towards you body. Lift your arms to waist level and then slowly lower them back.
To develop sexy, sculpted shoulders you want to emphasize high repetitions (12-15 reps) using light weights and performing the exercises up to 3-days a week (non-consecutively).
6 gym shoulder exercises
1) Tensor band Lateral Raises
Muscle Trained: Middle shoulders, Upper Traps.
• Grab a tensor band and stand with your feet together in the middle of the band. Start with your arm at your side.
• In a slow and controlled motion raise your arms straight up to the sides; stop when the weights are even with the top of your head. Pause then lower your arms in the same path, it is very important to make sure to control the speed on the way down.
2) Reverse Dumbbell Fly
Muscles Trained: Rear shoulders (rear fibers of deltoid), and middle traps.
• Grab a pair of dumbbells and lie facedown on a bench or small table. Start with your arms nearly straight (just a slight bend) and the dumbbells just off the floor.
• In a slow and controlled motion raise the dumbbell in a butterfly pattern up off the floor. You should concentrate on squeezing your shoulder blades together. A slight pause at the top of the exercise and then slowly lower the weight back down, stop before the dumbbell touches the floor.
3) Tensor Band seated Arnold presses
Muscle Trained: Middle, Front, Posterior shoulders, triceps and lower traps
• Grab a tensor band and sit on the end of the bench with the band under your feet. Start with your palms facing you and the dumbbells next to your ears. As you press the weights overhead, rotate your forearms so your palms face forward. Reverse this path as you lower the weights to the starting positions.
4) Weighted Jumping Jacks
Muscle Trained: Middle shoulder
• Grab two light dumbbells and start with your arms at your side and your feet together. In a controlled motion jump abducting the arms and legs at the same time. It is important to keep control throughout this exercise, and you want to continue the exercise to exhaustion.
• To advance this exercise, or to make the weight feel even place ankle weights on.
5) Dumbbell forward presses on Exercise Ball
Muscles Trained: Posterior shoulder, middle shoulder
• Grab two light dumbbells and lie facedown with your chest on the exercise ball. Make sure you are stable on the ball before beginning the press. Hold the weights parallel to the floor with the weights at the level of your ears. In a slow and controlled motion slowly press your arms forward and stop before the weights touch each other. Pause for a moment then bring the weights back in the same path slowly.
6) Overhead Dumbbell Press on Exercise Ball
Muscle Trained: Middle and Front shoulders Triceps, Lower traps
• Grab two dumbbells and sit on an exercise ball. Hold the dumbbells at the edge of your shoulders with the palms facing forward. Press the weights up and slightly inward until your arms are almost straight but not locked out. At the top they should be close to each other without touching. Lower them to your shoulders along the same path.
Troy Sturtevant (BSc (Bio), CSCS) is a Toronto-based certified personal trainer. For more information about these exercises or personal training in general, please contact him at:
Shot on location at Totum Life Science, www.totum.ca. Credit: Stephen Truszkowski.
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