Lee Walker Personal Training
Lee Walker Personal Training

Shoulders

At the tops of each arm, a hugely mobile joint with smaller muscle groups. Due to the physiology of this joint, shoulder injuries are common therefore technique and exercise choice are essential.

 

Exercises are designed to build, tone and at least maintain ranges of movement.

 

Alternating Deltoid Raise

 

Start Position

Finish Position

 

Type: Strength

Main Muscle WorkedShoulders

Equipment: Dumbbell

Mechanics Type: Isolation

LevelBeginner

Sport: No

ForcePush

 

  1. In a standing position, hold a pair of dumbbells at your side.
  2. Keeping your elbows slightly bent, raise the weights directly in front of you to shoulder height, avoiding any swinging or cheating.
  3. Return the weights to your side.
  4. On the next repetition, raise the weights laterally, raising them out to your side to about shoulder height.
  5. Return the weights to the starting position and continue alternating to the front and side.

 

Barbell Shoulder Press

 

Start Position

Finish Position

 

Type: Strength

Main Muscle WorkedShoulders

Other MusclesChestTriceps

Equipment: Barbell

Mechanics Type: Compound

LevelIntermediate

SportNo

Force: Push

 

  1. Sit on a bench with back support in a squat rack. Position a barbell at a height that is just above your head. Grab the barbell with a pronated grip (palms facing forward).
  2. Once you pick up the barbell with the correct grip width, lift the bar up over your head by locking your arms. Hold at about shoulder level and slightly in front of your head. This is your starting position.
  3. Lower the bar down to the shoulders slowly as you inhale.
  4. Lift the bar back up to the starting position as you exhale.
  5. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Variations:

  • This exercise can also be performed standing

 

Lying Rear Delt Raise

 

Start Position

Finish Position

 

TypeStrength

Main Muscle Worked: Shoulders

Equipment: Dumbbell

Mechanics TypeIsolation

LevelIntermediate

Sport: No

ForcePull

 
  1. While holding a dumbbell in each hand, lay with your chest down on a flat bench.
  2. Position the palms of the hands in a neutral manner (palms facing your torso) as you keep the arms extended with the elbows slightly bent. This will be your starting position.
  3. Now raise the arms to the side until your elbows are at shoulder height and your arms are roughly parallel to the floor as you exhale. Tip:Maintain your arms perpendicular to the torso while keeping them extended throughout the movement. Also, keep the contraction at the top for a second.
  4. Slowly lower the dumbbells to the starting position as you inhale.
  5. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions and then switch to the other arm.

Variations: You can perform this exercise with just one arm and also keeping the palms of the hands facing back as opposed to facing your torso

 

Front Dumbell Raise

 

Start Position

Finish Position

 

TypeStrength

Main Muscle WorkedShoulders

Equipment: Dumbbell

Mechanics TypeIsolation

LevelBeginner

SportNo

Force: Push

 

  1. Pick a couple of dumbbells and stand with a straight torso and the dumbbells on front of your thighs at arms length with the palms of the hand facing your thighs. This will be your starting position.
  2. While maintaining the torso stationary (no swinging), lift the left dumbbell to the front with a slight bend on the elbow and the palms of the hands always facing down. Continue to go up until you arm is slightly above parallel to the floor. Exhale as you execute this portion of the movement and pause for a second at the top. Inhale after the second pause.
  3. Now lower the dumbbell back down slowly to the starting position as you simultaneously lift the right dumbbell.
  4. Continue alternating in this fashion until all of the recommended amount of repetitions have been performed for each arm.

Variations: This exercise can also be performed both arms at the same time. Also, you could use a barbell as well

 

Low Pulley, Rope To Neck

 

Start Position

Finish Position

 

TypeStrength

Main Muscle WorkedShoulders

Other Muscles: BicepsMiddle BackTraps

EquipmentCable

Mechanics Type: Compound

LevelBeginner

Sport: No

Force: Pull

 

  1. Sit on a low pulley row machine with a rope attachment.
  2. Grab the ends of the rope using a palms-down grip and sit with your back straight and your knees slightly bent. Tip: Keep your back almost completely vertical and your arms fully extended in front of you. This will be your starting position.
  3. While keeping your torso stationary, lift your elbows and start bending them as you pull the rope towards your neck while exhaling. Throughout the movement your upper arms should remain parallel to the floor. Tip: Continue this motion until your hands are almost next to your ears (the forearms will not be parallel to the floor at the end of the movement as they will be angled a bit upwards) and your elbows are out away from your sides.
  4. After holding for a second or so at the contracted position, come back slowly to the starting position as you inhale. Tip: Again, during no part of the movement should the torso move.
  5. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Variation: You can use a straight bar attachment as well or a bench and exercise bands.

 

The Arnold Press

 

Start Position

Finish Position

 

Type: Strength
Main Muscle Worked: Shoulders
Other Muscles: Triceps
Equipment: Dumbbell
Mechanics Type: Compound
Level: Intermediate
Sport: No
Force: Push

 

  1. Sit on an exercise bench with back support and hold two dumbbells in front of you at about upper chest level with your palms facing your body and your elbows bent. Tip: Your arms should be next to your torso. The starting position should look like the contracted portion of a dumbbell curl.
  2. Now to perform the movement, raise the dumbbells as you rotate the palms of your hands until they are facing forward.
  3. Continue lifting the dumbbells until your arms are extended above you in straight arm position. Breathe out as you perform this portion of the movement.
  4. After a second pause at the top, begin to lower the dumbbells to the original position by rotating the palms of your hands towards you. Tip:The left arm will be rotated in a counter clockwise manner while the right one will be rotated clockwise. Breathe in as you perform this portion of the movement.
  5. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Variations: You can perform the exercise standing up but that is not recommended for people with lower back issues.

 

Battling Ropes

 

Start Position

Finish Position

 

Type: Strength
Main Muscle Worked: Shoulders
Other Muscles: Chest, Forearms
Equipment: Other
Mechanics Type: Compound
Level: Beginner
Sport: No
Force: Push

 

  1. For this exercise you will need a heavy rope anchored at its center 15-20 feet away. Standing in front of the rope, take an end in each hand with your arms extended at your side. This will be your starting position.
  2. Initiate the movement by rapidly raising one arm to shoulder level as quickly as you can.
  3. As you let that arm drop to the starting position, raise the opposite side.
  4. Continue alternating your left and right arms, whipping the ropes up and down as fast as you can.

 

Car Drivers

 

Start Position

Finish Position

 

Type: Strength
Main Muscle Worked: Shoulders
Other Muscles: Forearms
Equipment: Barbell
Mechanics Type: Isolation
Level: Beginner
Sport: No
Force: Push

 

  1. While standing upright, hold a barbell plate in both hands at the 3 and 9 o'clock positions. Your palms should be facing each other and your arms should be extended straight out in front of you. This will be your starting position.
  2. Initiate the movement by rotating the plate as far to one side as possible. Use the same type of movement you would use to turn a steering wheel to one side.
  3. Reverse the motion, turning it all the way to the opposite side.
  4. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.
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