It is that time of the year when everybody wants to look great; the sun is shining (unless you live in England) and you are headed off to the beach. Ladies will want to look as good as possible in their tank tops and swimming costumes and there is nothing quite like a great set of strong shoulders to set off the sleeveless look.
Many women neglect their shoulder muscles in their fitness routine. Women tend to focus far more time on abdominal, butt and leg exercises. If you want to develop overall fitness and maintain a balanced physique, it is essential to work on the delts as well. These exercises work your entire shoulder and will have your deltoid muscles in super sexy shape in no time at all.
When using dumbbells, be sure to lift a relatively challenging but suitable weight for yourself and also make sure that you warm up well before you start any exercise routine. A weight you can safely do 12-15 repetitions is a good starting point.
8 Great Shoulder Exercises for Women
These exercises will work and shape your deltoid muscles
Most of these exercises require some light dumbbells and one of them requires gym equipment. If you don’t have regular access to the gym, don’t worry…just complete the exercises that you are able to do.
Try to do these exercises every other day if possible and complete 3 sets of each exercise…try to maintain good form and posture throughout. If you find that you have to swing the weights in order to raise them, consider lowering the weight until you feel more comfortable.
1. Seated Dumbbell Press
- Start of in a seated position with your feet flat on the ground making sure that your back is straight.
- Lift your dumbbells and hold them at about ear level with your palms facing forwards.
- Push the weights up to the ceiling until your arms are almost straight but don’t lock out the elbows.
- Hold the position for a second or two and then return the weights to ear level. That’s one repetition; aim for 12 reps.
2. Front Standing Dumbbell Raise
- Start off in a standing position with your feet comfortably at shoulder width and your back nice and straight.
- Hold the dumbbells in front of your thighs with your palms facing towards your body.
- Lift the weight by lifting your right arm in front of you until the dumbbell is at shoulder height and your arm is approximately parallel to the ground.
- Bring your right arm back to its starting position and then switch arms and do the same exercise with the left.
Do 10 reps on each arm but be careful not to swing the weights.
3. Side Raise
- Again start in a standing position only this time with the dumbbells held at the side of the body.
- Raise both arms out to the side of your body to around shoulder height taking care not to lock your elbows.
- Hold the position for a second and slowly return the dumbbells to their starting position besides your body.
Try to complete between 10 and 12 repetitions.
4. Seated Front Raise
- Start off by sitting on a bench with your feet planted on the floor and your back straight upright.
- Hold the dumbbells to the side of your body with your palms facing inwards.
- Lift the dumbbells to around shoulder height by extending both arms in front of you.
Try to complete between 10 and 12 reps…note that you will probably need slightly lighter weights than you used for the standing dumbbell raises.
5. Seated Rear Deltoid Raise
- Start off by sitting on a flat bench with your feet planted flat on the ground.
- Bend your torso over so that your chest is almost touching against your knees.
- Hold the weights against the outside of your calves with your palms facing inwards towards each other.
- Your eyes should be looking at the floor.
- Lift both dumbbells out to the sides of your body as far as you can and then slowly lower the weights back to their starting position.
If you are doing this exercise properly, you should be feeling the back of your deltoid muscle working.
6. Front Cable Raise
- Set the pulley to its lowest setting and straddle over the cable.
- Grasp the pulley handle with both hands in a position slightly narrower than the width of your shoulders with your palms facing your thighs.
- Keeping your back straight and raise the bar in front of you to head level. Again take care not to straighten your arms so much that your elbows lock.
- Slowly lower the weight back to its starting position.
Try to complete 10 to 12 reps.
7. Push-ups with Stability Ball
If you are doing these exercises at home and do not have access to a stability ball, you can substitute it for kneeling or regular push-ups which will work your shoulder muscles just as effectively.
- Start with your hips resting on the top of the stability ball and your hands planted against the floor.
- Walk forwards with your hands so that your thighs are resting directly on top of the ball.
- Keep your hands on the floor aligned with your shoulders.
- Slowly lower your chest down towards the floor as far as you can by bending your elbows. Make sure that your head, legs and torso are aligned and straight and that your body is not jerking up and down.
- Complete the rep by straightening your arms back to their original position.
Do 10 reps.
8. Mountain Climbers
- Start the exercise in the plank position, your hands directly underneath your chest and slightly wider than the width of your shoulders.
- Be sure to keep your entire body aligned with your back straight and legs stretched out behind you.
- Try to imitate the action of climbing a mountain by bringing your right knee towards your right hand.
- Bring your right leg back to its starting position and switch legs doing the same movement with your left leg. That completes one repetition….try to complete 3 sets of 12 reps.
Cool Down and Stretch
Just as stretching and warming up before exercising is extremely important, so is stretching and cooling down after exercise if you want to be sure that you avoid injury.
1. Wide Arm Circles
In a standing position, raise both of your arms straight out to the side of your body at around shoulder height with the palms of your hands facing towards the ceiling. Circle your arms forwards for around 30 seconds or so. Keeping your arms stretched out to the side, turn your hands over so that your palms are facing the floor and circle your arms backwards for around 30 seconds.
2. Shoulder Stretch
Put the left arm across your chest towards the right just under the level of your chin. Gently press your left elbow into your body with the right hand and hold that position for around 30 seconds until you feel a nice moderate stretch. Switch to the right arm and repeat the stretch.
Below is the whole exercise video
Good luck ladies….try to discipline yourself and repeat these exercises every other day or as often as you can and you will soon be reaping the rewards.