Cut-off shirts and sleeveless dresses all look better when they expose some nicely defined SHOULDERS. Your SHOULDERS square-off the top of your torso, and help give you an athletic look that narrows into your waistline. Though they are not usually on the forefront of many people’s minds when they think about getting in shape—most seem to fixate on their stomachs, butt and legs—there is a significant benefit, both aesthetically and functionally, to properly working out your SHOULDERS.
Since they might not be your primary focus as your work toward your fitness goal, you might not know where to begin when it comes to adding some SHOULDER exercises to your program. Not a problem. Weight Machines 101 is here to point you in the right direction!
Tips for SHOULDER exercises:
- SHOULDER exercises are typically PRESSES or RAISES.
- PRESSES involve pushing weight or resistance above you. During PRESSES your elbows will move at the joint.
- RAISES involve raising weight or resistance from a position that begins with your arms at your sides and then raising your arms just above SHOULDER level/height. During RAISES your elbows should not move at the joint.
- DO NOT let your SHOULDERS scrunch up to your ears during SHOULDER exercises.
- Flex and tighten your core and ab muscles during this exercise while maintaining proper posture.
- Control the weight as you bring it in toward your body (after you have extended your arms during the exercise) to work the muscle group through the complete range of the exercise. This motion is called the negative or eccentric motion and it is NOT a time for you to relax.
SHOULDER Press 1 –
SHOULDER Press 2 –
Lateral Raise 1 –
Lateral Raise 2 –
Rear Deltoid (SHOULDER) – You might have noticed that this is the same machine that is used for the Chest Fly exercise. After a simple adjustment is made, you then face the opposite direction (than while performing a chest fly) to complete this exercise. NOTE – The weight used for a rear deltoid exercise will be much less than the weight that you would use for a chest fly as it is much smaller muscle.
Standing Cable Front Raise –
Standing Cable Lateral Raise –
Cable SHOULDER Press –
Remember, each machine has a placard or sign on it that gives you a description of how to use the equipment and which muscle groups they work. Always read the placards if you are uncertain how to use a machine before using it.
IMPORTANT: If you are not sure how heavy the weight should be for your strength level and fitness goal, start with the lightest weight setting. Perform 2 or 3 reps and then make incremental increases until you find the appropriate weight that is right for you and your fitness goal.
Be sure to come back soon for more great TOP TIPS and the next segment of Weight Machines 101!