Muscle Group Series: Shoulders Workouts

Single-Arm Linear Jammer

The single-arm linear jammer is a barbell exercise that targets the shoulder muscles. To begin, place one end of the barbell in a floor anchor or find an empty corner where the barbell can be securely positioned. Next, load the desired amount of weight to one end of the barbell. The weights should be on the side that is not in the corner. After preparing the barbell, safely lift the weighted end to one of your shoulders. Your elbow should be bent and down at your side, and your feet should be more than shoulder width apart. This is your starting position for the exercise. Slowly straighten your elbow by pushing the bar up. Bring your arm back down to starting position and repeat.

 

Reverse Flies

Reverse flies are another great way to build up shoulder strength. For this exercise you will need an incline bench and two appropriately weighted dumbbells. Lean against the incline bench with your feet on the ground, your chest and stomach pressed against the inclined bench. Hold one dumbbell in each hand and have your palms facing each other. Move into the starting position of the exercise by lifting your arms up from the ground until they are at chest level. Move the dumbbells away from one another by pulling your arms back until they are perpendicular to the rest of your body. Keep your elbows slightly bent to avoid injury to the joint. Bring the dumbbells back together by lowering your arm back to the starting position. Focus on moving slowly and engaging your shoulders in each phase of movement.

 

Stretching

Stretching is actually a very important part of shoulder health and strength. Both men and women carry a lot of stress in their shoulder muscles. Your shoulder muscles are at a pivotal junction in the body – the shoulder muscles directly connect many other important muscles including neck, back, chest, and arm muscles. Therefore, when your shoulder muscles are not stretched and become too tight, they can create tightness and pain in many other areas of the body as well. One good way to stretch your shoulders is to do shoulder circles. Shoulder exercises are easy to do and can be performed sitting or standing. To start a shoulder circle exercise, try to relax the muscles in your arms and shoulders letting your arms hang down. Then, slowly start to move your shoulders in a circular motion moving forward, bring them up, pushing them toward the back, and then bring them back and down to where your circle began. After this motion is repeated several times, you can reverse the direction of your circular motion.

 

Extreme Exercise: Handstand Push-Ups

This exercise takes a lot of strength to start with but, if you can do it, it is an awesome workout for your shoulders and a fun way to show off all the strength you have built. To get into the starting position, put your back against the wall and then bend down at the waist, putting your hands on the floor. Kick up or walk up the wall with your feet until your body is as straight as possible with your hands on the ground, your arms fully extended and your feet high against the wall. This is the starting position for your push-up. Slowly bend your elbows out until your head almost touches the ground, and then push your body back up. There are a few safety guidelines which you should consider before you begin. First, when in the starting position you should be looking at the wall – not at the ground. This position will help you to avoid neck injury and provided better form for your push-up. Next, ensure that the floor is not wet or slippery and that you can maintain good traction between your hands and the floor. Also, if you are trying this exercise for the first time, use a spotter to help you until you feel confident in doing the exercise.

Smiling: Your face’s favorite workout.

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