Strong shoulders not only look good in bare evening tops but also help ease muscle tension in the neck and the spine and can improve posture. Try these moves recommended by New York City trainer Brett Hoebel to target all your shoulder muscles and—bonus—work your legs, rear end, and abs. 8 easy shoulder exercises.
Do three sets every other day, using medium (about five-pound) dumbbells. (You have the right weight if the last two reps are harder than the rest.)
Move 1: Arm Circles
Hold your arms straight out to the sides with palms facing up. Circle forward 10 times, then backward 10 times. Flip your palms so they face the floor and repeat the sequence.
Move 2: Walking Lunges
(A) Start with your feet together and step forward with your right leg.
(B) Go into a lunge, keeping your knee over your ankle. Then, in one motion, straighten up and lunge forward with your left leg. Continue for 10 steps forward. Then turn around and lunge 10 more times back to where you started.
Move 3: Jumping Jacks
Complete 30. Keep your arms straight and be sure to raise them all the way above your head.
Move 4: Lateral Raise With Stationary Lunge
(A) Begin in a lunge position with your right foot forward, left foot behind you, and left leg slightly bent. Hold a dumbbell in each hand, with your arms at your sides and palms facing inward.
(B) Bend your legs so the back knee almost touches the floor. While down in the lunge position, lift your arms straight out to the sides to form a T. Pause, then lower your arms and come back up. Complete 10 to 12 reps. Switch legs and repeat on the other side.
Move 5: Hammer Curl With Press
(A) Holding the dumbbells at your sides with your palms facing inward, stand on your left leg and raise your right knee so your thigh is parallel to the floor. Bend your elbows and bring the weights to your shoulders in a hammer curl.
(B) Press the weights upward and straighten your arms so your elbows are next to your ears. Lower the weights to your shoulders, then down to your sides. Repeat 10 to 12 times. Switch legs and complete the series again.
Move 6: 3 Straight-Arm Kick-Back
(A) With a weight in each hand, position your feet hip-distance apart, slightly bending the knees. Hinge forward from your hips, keeping your back flat and allowing your arms to hang straight down with palms facing each other.
(B) Lift your arms up and back, keeping them straight, until they are slightly above hip level. Lower your arms back to the starting position and do 10 to 15 reps. Repeat the set two more times, resting for 60 to 90 seconds between each round.
Move 7: Arm Circles
Do the same move as in the warm-up, but go more slowly this time.
Move 8: Shoulder Stretch
Reach your right arm across your chest to the left. Gently push in your right elbow with your left hand. Hold for 30 seconds. Switch arms and repeat.
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