Body Sculpting For Women: 5 Key Exercises For A Complete Shoulder Workout

5 basic moves that can be done at home for a complete shoulder workout.

Body Sculpting for Women: 5 key exercises for a complete shoulder workout. Always check with your doctor before starting an exercise program.

Many women who strength train tend to concentrate on the lower body. But there is equal reward in working major muscle groups in the upper body.

Strong, shapely shoulders can be great accessory for any woman. Developing the shoulder muscles not only provides great strength and health benefits, but also contributes to a strong, svelte look and gives proportion between the upper and lower body. To achieve these results, there are several basic moves that can be done at home or in the gym with dumbbells.



#1: "˜lateral raise': Stand with feet shoulder width apart, hands at sides. Hold a dumbbell in each hand (try 2-5 lbs. to start). Hold the weights so that the ends face front to back. Raise your hands until they are level with your shoulders. Your body position at this point should resemble a "˜T'. Slowly lower the weights to the starting position and repeat. Work towards a goal of 2-3 sets of 10 repetitions once or twice a week.

#2: "˜shoulder press': Stand with feet shoulder width apart. With your arms bent at the elbows, hold your dumbbells (again, start with light weights and work up) at shoulder height and press (or lift) up until arms are straight up in the air, above your head - but don't lock your elbows. Slowly lower the weights to the starting position and repeat. Work towards a goal of 2-3 sets of 10 repetitions once or twice a week.

#3: "˜upright row': Stand with feet shoulder width apart, arms hanging slightly in front of you, holding dumbbells with your palms facing your body. Bend your arms, raising your hands until the weights are at chest level. Slowly lower them back to the starting position and repeat. Work towards a goal of 2-3 sets of 10 repetitions once or twice a week.

#4: "˜front raise': This move is basically the same as the above described lateral raise, the difference being that the movement will be done with the arms straight out to the front of the body rather than the sides, as the names describe. Stand with feet shoulder width apart, arms hanging in front, holding dumbbells, with palms facing the body. Raise your hands, lifting the weights until your arms are straight out from the shoulders. At this point, your arms should be parallel to the floor in front of you. Slowly lower the weights back to the starting position and repeat. Work towards a goal of 2-3 sets of 10 repetitions once or twice a week.

#5: "˜push-ups': The good old push-up. Yes, this basic move is great for the shoulders

as well as the chest, back and arms. For this move you will not need any weights, as your own body will provide resistance. Get down on the floor, face down, with palms flat on the floor and just slightly further than shoulder width apart. Legs should be straight and feet together. Straighten your arms, pushing yourself up off the floor, keeping your back straight. Push upwards until your arms are straight, but don't lock your elbows. Keeping your body straight, slowly lower yourself back down to the starting position, but don't rest on the floor as you progress to the next repetition. Instead, pause and then push up again. To modify this exercise, bend the legs at the knee with your feet in the air, so that your knees are resting on the floor rather than your feet. Work towards a goal of 2-3 sets of 10 repetitions once or twice a week.

Try to choose a few of these exercises each week, alternating them often. Strong, chiseled shoulders will look great with those cute summer styles and striking with sophisticated holiday evening styles.

© High Speed Ventures 2011