It’s February already and I like to think we are officially on the downhill slide from winter and heading into spring, which means summer is just around the corner. I am sure many of you share in my excitement to kiss the short, cold, and dark days of winter goodbye; however, this means it’s really time to start thinking about your plan to get the body ready and toned up for the summer of 2011. Just as athletes train hard in the off season to be ready for their sport, we have to train our bodies through the winter so that once the sun comes out we are ready to show what we are “working with”. This is when all the hard work and sweat pays off.
This article is going to show you 3 exercises you can add to your workout routine to have your shoulders toned and tank top ready by summer. The deltoid muscle forms the round contoured appearance of your shoulder and consists of 3 different heads: anterior, medial, and posterior or aka front, middle, and back. Due to the fact that the deltoid has 3 different heads, we have to work it in different angles to ensure we are working all areas of the muscle. The deltoid muscle is responsible for raising the arms up, down, to the side, and behind you, so not only will strengthening this muscle give more tone to your shoulder, but it will allow you to perform lifting activities in your daily life with more ease.
Here are 3 exercises to achieve shapely shoulders:
-You will need a set of dumbbells ranging from 2-10lbs depending on strength level
-Perform 3 sets of each exercise for 12-15 repetitions, 2 to 3 times per week for best results. Men looking to build a broader appearance in their shoulders can perform these exercises in reps of 6-8 with heavier weights to achieve an increase in deltoid muscle mass
1. Lateral Raise – begin by standing or sitting with dumbbells in your hands and wrists facing in towards your hips. Keeping a very slight bend in the elbow raise the dumbbells up to the side until they are parallel to the ground and back down, but be sure to keep your neck and shoulders relaxed by pulling your shoulders away from your ears. If you find your shoulders tensing up as you raise the dumbbells to the sides perhaps the weight is too heavy and you should decrease it until your strength increases.
2. Overhead Shoulder Press- this exercise can be performed from a seated or standing position, but if you have low back pain perform while seated in a chair that provides back support. Begin by raising dumbbells up to shoulder height with your wrists facing forward, elbows at 90 degrees, and biceps parallel to the floor. Raise the dumbbells up by straightening your arms up over your head until the dumbbells almost touch at the top. Slowly lower the dumbbells back down to starting position and repeat.
3. Seated Bent-Over Laterals- begin by sitting on the edge of a chair with dumbbells in your hands and knees/ankles touching each other. Bend forward from the waist keeping the back straight and place the dumbbells behind your calves with wrists facing each other. With the back remaining straight, keep a slight bend in your elbows and raise the dumbbells out to the side until your arms are parallel to the floor. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and hold the contraction for 1 to 2 seconds before returning the weights back to the starting position (behind the calves) and repeat.
Email Michelle@CORE-Condition.com for more information about how to get your shoulders ready for summer.
Michelle Roots BA Kin, CSCS, PES