Workout 57: Shoulders & Abs


Shoulder Exercises

1. Arnold Dumbbell Press

  1. Sit on the military press bench, or any utility bench that has a back support, and hold two dumbbells in front of you at about upper-chest level. Your palms should be facing your body with your elbows bent and tucked in. 
  2. Next, in the middle of the movement, raise the dumbbells as you rotate your palms until they are facing forward.
  3. Continue raising the dumbbells until your arms are fully extended above you.
  4. After a pause at the top, begin to lower the dumbbells, rotating your palms towards you.

2. Wide Grip Smith Machine Upright Row

  1. Set the bar on the smith machine to a height that is around the middle of your thighs. Grab the bar with both hands, wider than shoulder-width apart. 
  2. Lift the barbell up and fully extend your arms so that your arms are straight but you’re holding the weighted bar. 
  3. Use your side shoulders to lift the bar.. The bar should be close to the body as you move it up. Continue to lift it until it nearly touches your chin. Drive your elbows up towards the ceiling to ensure you’re using your shoulder. 
  4. Slowly lower the bar back down slowly to the starting position.  
  5. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

3. Lateral Dumbbell Raise

  1. Stand upright with your feet shoulder-width apart and dumbbells aligned with your feet at arm's length. Make sure your palms are facing inward towards your sides.
  2. Keep your torso stationary and raise the dumbbells to your side with a slight bend at your elbow. Lift your arms until they are slightly parallel to the ground, or around shoulder-level, and pause for a second at the top.
  3. Slowly lower the dumbbells back to the starting position.

4. Front Dumbbell Raise

  1. Stand upright with your feet hip-width apart. Grasp one dumbbell with each hand so that your palms are facing inward and hands are against your thighs.
  2. While keeping your torso stationary, lift the dumbbells in front of you with a straight arm or slightly bent elbow. Continue to raise the dumbbell until your arm is slightly above parallel to the ground or around shoulder-level. 
  3. Slowly lower the dumbbells back to the starting position.

5. Bent Over Rear Delt Raise

  1. Hold a dumbbell in each hand.
  2. Bend at the hip with the butt back as far as possible.
  3. Keep the back straight in order to pick up the dumbbells. The palms of your hands should be facing each other as you hold the dumbbells. This will be your starting position.
  4. Keeping your torso forward and stationary and the arms slightly bent at the elbows, lift the dumbbells straight to the side until both arms are parallel to the floor. (Note: Avoid swinging the torso or bringing the arms back as opposed to the side.)
  5. After a one second contraction at the top, slowly lower the dumbbells back to the starting position.

    Variation: This exercise can also be performed seated. Those with lower back problems are better off performing this seated variety.

Ab Exercises


1. Kneeling Cable Crunch

Caution: Do not choose a weight that is too heavy. This can result in straining your lower back.

  1. Find a cable station and attach a rope handle to the top pulley. Grasp the rope attachment at each end, and kneel down so your knees are bent at a 90° angle.
  2. Your arms should be stretched over your head. Your palms should be facing each other when holding the rope and your hands should be placed next to your face.
  3. Slightly flex your hips forward. There should be tension on the cable, and you should feel a stretch in your abs.
  4. Keep your hips stationary, contract your abs, and crunch your chest towards your hips until your head is between your knees. Your elbows should be approaching the middle of your thighs. After reaching this point, hold the contraction for a second.
  5. Slowly reverse back to the starting position. Keep as much tension in your abs during this whole movement.

2. Table Top Elbow to Knee Crunch 

  1. Get in a tabletop position with your hands directly beneath your shoulders. Hold your body up off the floor in this position. Hold a light dumbbell in your right hand. 
  2. From this position, extend your right arm out in front of you and extend your left leg straight out behind you. 
  3. Next, crunch your abs by bringing your right elbow to meet your left knee in the middle of your body. 
  4. Extend them again and repeat. 
  5. Make sure to finish one side before switching hands and doing the other side.

3. Starfish Crunch

  1. Lie on your back with your arms and legs stretched out into an “X” position. 
  2. In one movement, bring one arm straight up across your body while simultaneously lifting your opposing leg and lifting your head. 
  3. Attempt to touch one arm to your opposite ankle, or try to come as close as you can.
  4. Alternate sides.

4. Hanging Leg Lift

  1. Hang from a chin-up bar with both arms extended at arms length in top of you using either a wide grip or a medium grip. The legs should be straight down with the pelvis rolled slightly backwards. This will be your starting position.
  2. Raise your legs until the torso makes a 90-degree angle with the legs. Hold for 0.5-1 seconds. 
  3. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions. 

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