As I write this, the sun is in hiding, but if it makes another week-long appearance, then I’ll have my summer wardrobe ready!
I recently saw a fashion campaign that said, “shoulders are the new legs”. They were promoting the off-the-shoulder tops which I’m a big fan of. A strong, sexy body isn’t just about the bum and legs; beautiful shoulders are needed to achieve that hourglass shape that I for one am after. Training this area has benefits beyond the aesthetic; it improves posture and develops the muscles around the shoulder joint.
Here’s a quick, intense shoulder workout that I often do myself. As always, lift weights that actually challenge you and are not ridiculously easy. I can’t recommend what weight to use as not everyone is the same; if you are at the gym, you can always ask a trainer for help.
- Rear Delt Fly
Hold a dumbbell in each hand and, keeping your lower back in its natural arch, bend your hips back until your torso is about parallel to the floor. Allow your arms to hang. Now squeeze your shoulder blades together and raise your arms out 90 degrees until your upper arms are parallel to the floor.
- Barbell Shoulder Press
The first step is to take the bar with an overhand grip with palms facing forward and with your feet shoulder width apart or slightly wider, and knees slightly bent. The starting position begins with the bar being held over the upper chest.
Begin pressing the weight overhead with the elbows situated directly underneath the wrists. Make sure that your arms are as close to vertical as possible when pressing overhead and be sure to keep the core tight.
- Seated shoulder press with rotation
Sit on a bench holding two dumbbells at shoulder height with palms facing towards your ears. Press the weights up above your head until your arms are fully extended, as you do this, rotate your palms so that your hands end up facing away from your body. Return slowly to the start position.
Go on, give this work-out a try and see your shoulders get stronger. Don’t worry, this won’t give you big bulky muscles, it will nicely define, tone and strengthen. And remember, those shoulders can get burned in Irish sun too, so don’t forget your SPF!
Until next time…Fiona