When you think about working out to tone your body, which body part do you usually focus on? Your arms, legs, glutes and abdomen probably. But do you ever think about your shoulders? Most people don’t think about their shoulders when exercising, but they also need attention because they also experience stress in a day-to-day. Normal tasks like sitting down in front of a computer all day or cleaning around the house wear out your shoulders. Plus, you need to strengthen your shoulders if you do a lot of lifting. To help you create a more holistic workout routine, here are the best exercises for training your shoulders:
Standing/Sitting Military Press
- Start with the barbell placed on a squat rack, about chest high.
- Grab the barbell with your palms facing forward. Your hands should be a little more than your shoulder-width apart.
- Next, pick up the barbell to your shoulder level, and then slowly lift it up above your head. Make sure to lock your arms when you lift the barbell. Don’t forget to exhale as you lift and inhale as you lower it back down to shoulder level.
- Start in a standing position and hold the dumbbells at arm’s length with your palms facing your thighs.
- Raise your left arm slowly until they are slightly above parallel to the floor. As you raise your arm, make sure that your torso remains stationary. Hold the position for a few seconds, and then lower your arm back down slowly while you start raising your right arm. Don’t forget to breathe while you repeat the movement.
- Repeat alternating lifts.
- Start in a sitting position. Your bench must have back support.
- With your arms next to your torso, hold two in front of you with your palms facing your body, and then raise them to your collarbone.
- As you lift the dumbbells above your head, rotate your arms so that your palms are facing forward. When you lower them back down, rotate your arms again so that your palms are facing you. Don’t forget to exhale as you lift and inhale as you lower them back down to collarbone level.
Rear Lateral Raise
- Rest your chest on a slightly inclined exercise bench. This is your starting position.
- With your palms facing your torso, your arms extended and your elbows slightly bent, hold a dumbbell in each hand.
- Raise your arms until your elbows are at shoulder height. Your upper arms should be parallel to the floor. Slowly, lower your arms back down. Don’t forget to exhale while you lift your arms and inhale while you bring them back to the starting position.
When doing these exercises, only use weights that you’re comfortable with. If you strain your muscles too much, you risk incurring injuries. Also, for beginners, it is best if you find a friend who can spot you while you practice lifting. Exercises are good for your body, but you should always do them safely.