Discover the best shoulder exercises for toned, sexy shoulders!
Why You Need To Do Shoulder Exercises
Whether you run, hike, play sports, or lift weights in the gym, your lower body muscles naturally receive more attention and are more frequently worked out compared to your upper body. Therefore, your upper body muscles need some special attention! This muscle group includes your biceps, triceps, back, chest, and shoulders. That being said, the shoulder muscles are often neglected in upper body workout routines over arm workouts, chest workouts, and back workouts.
If you don’t want to dedicate an entire workout to shoulder day, you should absolutely incorporate shoulder exercises, especially the BEST shoulder exercises, into your workout routine. Here’s why.
The Benefits of Training Your Shoulder Muscles:
1. Aesthetically, sculpted and toned shoulders look fantastic.
2. Shoulder exercises and toned deltoid muscles promote better posture.
3. Working out your shoulder muscles will support your shoulder joints (and keep your rotator cuff safe!).
4. Healthy, strong shoulders will help you do most upper body exercises. Additionally, strong shoulders will help you increase weight when performing those exercises and perform more reps!).
The Best Shoulder Exercises
1. Front Raise: Stand with your feel shoulder width apart. Your arms will be relaxed by your side, holding light to medium dumbbells in each hand (overhand grip). Starting with your right arm, slowly lift the dumbbell in front of you until your arm is straight out in front of you. Lower the weight steadily back to it’s starting position and repeat with your left arm.
2. Lateral Raise: You will be standing with your feet shoulder width apart, with your arms at your side holding light to medium dumbbells in each hand. Slowly and steadily raise your arms outward (to make a T with your body). Raise them until they are parallel with your shoulders, or slightly past parallel. Bring them slowly back down to your sides in a controlled way. And don’t lock your elbows!
3. Overhead Press: You can be standing or sitting for this exercise. If you choose to stand, I recommend standing in one of two ways. Either stand in a split stance, with one foot in front of the other, or with your feet shoulder width apart. You can also do the overhead press with either a barbell or with dumbbells. You will start with the weight at your upper chest. Your palms will be facing forward; and your elbows will be directly under the weight (and keep them slightly inward towards your body). Push the weight upward and keep it in line with your body – just don’t hit your face! Push it all the way up – but don’t lock your elbows at the top.
4. Rear Delt Fly: The rear delt raise / fly can either sit or stand for this exercise. Either way, bend your torso and chest forward, while keeping your back straight and your abs engaged. Your arms will be hanging down in front of you, holding dumbbells in each hand. Your palms will be facing each other and your elbows will be slightly bent. Raise the dumbbells outward until your arms are parallel to the floor and your shoulders. Make sure to control the movement as you lower the weight to avoid accidents or injury!
5. Crawlout / Inchworm: You will begin in the plank position (on your hands). Slowly walk your hands towards your feet. Once you’ve made it up to your feet, push with your hands to propel yourself so that you can either clap or so that you can tap your shin bones with each hand. Then, start walking your hands back out to the standard plank where you started. You can bend your knees slightly if you are not very flexible like I am!
The five exercises listed above are, hands down, my favorite and the BEST shoulder exercises that you can do. These five shoulder moves target and strengthen each of the muscles within the shoulder. There are plenty of other exercises you can do that will make your shoulders and upper body stronger.
Related: Halter Top Ready Shoulder Workout