Workout 11: Shoulders & Abs
1. Seated Dumbbell Press
- Sit on a military press bench, or any utility bench that has a back support, and hold two dumbbells upright on the top of your thighs.
- With your palms facing each other, lift the dumbbells up (one at a time) to shoulder-level.
- Then, rotate your wrists so that your palms are facing upward toward the ceiling.
- Press your dumbbells up and toward each other, without jerking your back.
- Slowly lower them until they return to the starting position.
2. Wide Grip Smith Machine Upright Row
- 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.
- Lift the barbell up and fully extend your arms so that your arms are straight but you’re holding the weighted bar.
- 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.
- Slowly lower the bar back down slowly to the starting position.
Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.
3. Reverse Fly
- On the reverse fly machine (which sometimes doubles as a chest fly machine), adjust the handles so that they are fully facing the rear (closest together). Adjust the seat height to make the handles at your shoulder-level. Sit on the seat with your chest against the pad and grasp the handles with your palms facing inwards.
- Pull your hands out to your sides and back as far as possible. This should make a semicircular motion where you should feel a stretch in your shoulders.
Pause at the back of the movement, and slowly return the weight to the starting position.
4. Lateral Dumbbell Raise
- 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.
- 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.
- Slowly lower the dumbbells back to the starting position.
1. Kneeling Cable Crunch
Caution: Do not choose a weight that is too heavy. This can result in straining your lower back.
- 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.
- 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.
- Slightly flex your hips forward. There should be tension on the cable, and you should feel a stretch in your abs.
- 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.
Slowly reverse back to the starting position. Keep as much tension in your abs during this whole movement.
- Lie straight on your back with your legs together and your arms together, straight above your head.
- In one motion, raise your legs off the floor while keeping them straight. Also raise your torso and hands to meet your legs in the middle of your body.
3. Starfish Crunch
- Lie on your back with your arms and legs stretched out into an “X” position.
- In one movement, bring one arm straight up across your body while simultaneously lifting your opposing leg and lifting your head.
- Attempt to touch one arm to your opposite ankle, or try to come as close as you can.
- Alternate sides.
- Position yourself face-down on the ground and place your hands shoulder width apart. Keeping your back as straight as possible, push your body off the ground, through your hands.
- Inhale as you lower yourself downward, until your chest nearly touches the ground.
- Exhale and press your upper body back up to the starting position while squeezing your chest, arms, and abdominal muscles.