My arms have always been a topic of conversation. The first time someone mentioned the way my arms “looked” was my junior year of high school. A guy I knew came up to me at lunch and squeezed my bicep and said – “Wow! Nice arms”… at the time I was pretty embarrassed – but if someone would do that now I would give them a high five and think it was kick ass!
To be fair, I have been working out my upper body since I was 15 years old. I was a competitive cheerleader in high school and kept on cheering through college. It always pisses me off when people say cheerleading is not a sport – OKAY! You try lifting a girl who is your exact bodyweight over your head and then doing flip flops and back tucks across the gym floor. Guess what – that’s all upper body strength – but you’re right cheerleading is TOTALLY not a sport (eye roll/hair flip).
When I started lifting post college, I naturally gravitated towards upper body lifting. It was the easiest for me and I saw results instantly (my legs are a COMPLETELY other story). So, for the whole month of September I am going to share some of my favorite upper body workouts so you too can have strangers come up to you and squeeze your arms….
Today, I’m talking about shoulders. Shoulder workouts are often overlooked but are, in my opinion, the defining muscle group to create a shapely upper body. I see a lot of guys just hammering their biceps and neglecting their shoulders in search for that bicep cut (you know what I’m talking about… the line you can see in your arm when you’re wearing short sleeves or a tank). HELLO – that cut comes specifically from the development of your shoulders!
Since I know a lot of my readers are busy moms or are balancing full schedules with hardly anytime to get to the gym, I am sharing 7 of my favorite shoulder exercises that you can do in the comfort of your own home (that’s right… you can workout in your bra and underwear without judgement).
All you need is a set of dumbbells (any weight that you can control) and a resistance band. For beginners, take your time to figure out these movements! I included a video below where you can get a better idea of form, too. For those who are more advanced, challenge yourself with less repetitions, more sets, and heavier weight. Although I did not include the posterior deltoid (the shoulder muscle in your back that gives you a rounded look) – that is also a key muscle group to include so you don’t injure your rotator cuff.
Some examples of posterior deltoid exercises are:
2. Bent over flys
3. Face Pulls
4. Wide Grip Rows
5. Bent Over barbell rows
Try incorporating 1-3 of those on your shoulder days or your back days. Otherwise, try some of my favorite movements below and let me know what you think!
Lastly – I know I said I had SEVEN favorite movements… the last one is included in my video below. It’s my secret weapon that I love to do at the end of my workouts (my clients also have a love hate relationship with these).
Next week I’ll be talking about biceps! Have a great Labor Day Weekend!