31 Jul 2018
Weak or undefined shoulders can give your physique a rather unfinished look. There you are with your toned chest, nicely sculptured abs and hard, fast limbs, yet your shoulders look like neglected ski slopes.
Well, it’s time to get some effective shoulder workouts into your routine. And remember, shoulder exercises are like any exercise; once you get past that initial difficulty and build a little basic strength, they do get easier.
Here are our five best shoulder exercises you should be including in your exercise routine.
No, this isn’t the laying down version; for this bit of whole body dynamism, you’re standing and using your legs for added propulsion; quite a lot of added propulsion as you’re basically spring loading your legs as a ‘cheat’ to fire the bar into the air.
And that’s why this exercise is number one; it’s an explosive press and a whole body movement with benefits for pretty much everything.
How to do it: With the barbell on your upper chest, bend your knees a bit to act like a sort of slingshot and explode upward on the balls of your feet until the bar is pressed overhead.
You might say this is a barbell push press without the bendy leg ‘cheat’ because that’s pretty much what it is. For that reason, it’s a more concentrated exercise, less all body and more arms and shoulders.
How to do it: Stand with your knees slightly bent to offset any instability and press the bar straight overhead, but don’t lock your elbows; stop just short and bring the bar back to your chest.
If you choose, you can use dumbbells for even greater overall muscle activation and involvement.
This might seem to be a bit of a leftfield entry in a shoulder exercise list, but studies have shown the dumbbell incline row to work not just the back, but the rear deltoids, and work them hard.
How to do it: Lie face down on an incline bench with dumbbells in each hand, arms straight. Now bring both dumbbells back to a bent elbow in a rowing motion.
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This one makes our list for a variety of reasons. First, being seated takes your lower body out of the equation and focuses all the effort on the middle deltoids. Second, if one arm is weaker than the other, you can’t use your strong arm to compensate thus forcing stabiliser muscles into play.
How to do it: Sit on a bench with a straight back and bent arms, dumbbells in each hand. Press both dumbbells straight up.
Basically exercise four with a barbell, and it’s in our list for the same reasons. The only real difference is that a barbell works the triceps more than dumbbells.
How to do it: Sit on a bench with a straight back and bent arms, barbell across your upper chest. Press the barbell straight up.
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