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Workout 53: Shoulders 

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. 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.

3. Plate Around Your Head

  1. Take a weighted plate and hold it with both hands out in front of your body with a slight bend in your elbows.
  2. Take the weight and rotate it clockwise around the back of your head and back out to starting position.
  3. Repeat for the desired amount of repetitions.

4. Underhand Barbell Front Raise

  1. Grasp a barbell/straight bar/EZ bar with an underhand grip that is slightly less than shoulder width. Stand shoulder-width apart. Your back should also be straight. This will be your starting position.
  2. Keeping your arms straight, drive the bar upwards focusing on using the front of your shoulder to do the movement. Keep you’re your traps relaxed so your shoulders aren’t moving up towards your head as you do the movement.
  3. Lower the bar back down slowly to the starting position, keeping your arms straight.

*The underhand grip helps to engage more of your front shoulder, so throw this into your shoulder workouts when you see fit!

5. Reverse Fly

  1. 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. 
  2. 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. 
  3. Pause at the back of the movement, and slowly return the weight to the starting position.

6. 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.

7. 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.

8. Behind The Back Lateral Cable Raise

  1. Reach behind your back and grab the handle firmly as the pulley is in the lowest position.
  2. Maintain a slight bend in your elbow as you exhale and elevate your arm straight up to your side.
  3. Raise your arm up to shoulder height and slowly return your arm back down to the starting position.
  4. Allow your arm to descend deep enough to stretch your deltoid and repeat.