To strengthen your shoulder muscles, there are a variety of different exercises to consider adding to your weekly workout regimen. Here are some weight and body weight exercises to strengthen your deltoid and trapezius muscles. Most of these require either gym equipment or weights, but some can be done simply with your own body weight.
Table of Contents
1. Shoulder Press
The shoulder press can be done using the machine at your local gym or with weights that you have at home. When using weights, place both weights above your shoulders, with your arms bent at your side. Make sure your forearms are vertical and your wrists are straight. Push up using your deltoids until the weights are directly above your head. Keep your elbows slightly bent and your back and neck straight throughout. Try to keep the lift from two to five seconds, with the lowering time from five to eight seconds. You can do this exercise seated or standing. Do three sets of 10-12 reps.
2. Lateral Raises
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Using two weights, extend your arms completely so that your body forms a T. Keep your wrists straight and repeat several sets.
3. Front Raises
For the front raise, stand with your feet shoulder width apart and raise the weights in front of your thighs. Raise the weights in front of you to shoulder height with your palms facing down. Keep your arms extended and your wrists straight.
4. Upright Rows
Stand up and hold one weight in each hand in front of your thighs. Raise both weights until your arms are parallel to the ground and lower them back down slowly after a short pause. Be careful not to jerk your back in an effort to help you raise the weights.
5. Bent-Over Rear Deltoid Raise
To work out the rear-deltoids, sit on a bench and lower your body to hold each weight just above the floor. Raise both weights to your sides, keeping them parallel to the floor, and lower them slowly back down. Keep your elbows arched throughout the movement. This exercise effectively strengthens your shoulder and back muscles at the same time.
6. Shoulder Shrugs
Shoulder shrugs work out your trapezius muscles. Hold two weights at your sides and shrug your shoulders upwards as far as they can go so the weights are lifted slightly. It will only take about 15 reps for you to feel the difference.
Push-ups are an effective way to work out your shoulder muscles using only your own body weight. Push-ups work out your front and rear deltoids in addition to your chest and give a balanced look to your entire body. They are a must in everyone’s workout routine. To decrease the pressure on your hands, try elevating your starting position by doing your push-ups on a bench or a chair against the wall so that your body is at an angle with the ground. To increase the resistance, elevate your feet behind you so that more of your weight is shifted onto your hands.
In addition to being a great cardio workout, swimming is a great natural resistance exercise for sculpting your deltoids. The best swimming strokes for the shoulder muscles are freestyle and butterfly. This is a great workout to do on rest days, or at times where you want to tone your muscles rather than build them. Butterfly burns the most calories of any swimming stroke and can be a great tool for burning fat.
Remember: to strengthen any muscle, adequate rest and nutrition is necessary. Don’t exercise any muscle group two days in a row and make sure to avoid exercise if you still feel pain in the area. Eat carbohydrates directly after working out, and make sure you get enough protein in your diet.
Dennis Francis is a freelance writer who focuses on health, wellness, nutritional science, medical science, the medical profession, medical education and other associated topics; those experiencing shoulder issues should take a peek at the information on shoulder blade pain from Gulf Coast Spine Care.