After having some issues with my shoulder for a couple weeks, I gave it a much needed rest. But I’m back baby!! I put my hair in braids and threw together my favorite shoulder exercises, and let me tell ya, it felt great!
Compound Row: I use the “V-Bar” attachment on the seated cable bench. Put your feet on the pads, keep legs slightly bent, push your butt back so the knees can lower, and sit up tall with good posture. Keep this upright posture throughout the movement, only move your arms to really target that back. Pull the bar back towards your belly with elbows staying close to your side. Release your arms back straight, then repeat the movement.
One Arm Chicken Wings: Start standing tall with an overhand grip on a dumbbell in one arm. Pull the dumbbell up by bending your elbows out, almost like starting a lawnmower. Doing this with only one arm helps to engage stabilization in the core, and allows you to go slightly heavier with the weight. Some people call this move upright row.
Seated Overhead Press: Take a seat on a bench. If you want, you can adjust the back of the bench upright to help support your torso. Or, like I did, you can simple sit tall and rely on your core to hold you upright. Start the dumbbells in each hand at your shoulders with palms facing out. Then, recruit those shoulder muscles to push those weights overhead, tapping each other before returning to starting position.
Trap Raise: On the cable machine with two separate cables, sit on the bench. Put feet in appropriate spot, Push booty back so knees are slightly bent. Overhand grip the two handles, then raise the handles straight overhead. Lifting straight up really targets the traps, and the rest of your shoulder. If you find you are topping the machine out (clinking every rep), then you can bend your knees more to sit a little closer to the pulleys.
One Arm Side Raise: Stand tall holding one dumbbell at your side. Keep your core tight as you lift the dumbbell outwards up to shoulder height, arm can be slightly bent. If you notice you are swaying or bending one way instead of standing up tall, be sure to keep your abs tight to prevent the movement.
Seated Back Fly: Sit on a bench, then bend forward at hips. Start by holding two dumbbells with palms facing each other in front of your shins. Fly the weights out, with arms slightly bent, so arms and elbows are back height. Slowly return to starting position. I love this one because I feel like I’m a bat flying. It really works your shoulders, targeting the upper back.
Cable Back Fly: Set up the double cable machine so the handles are slight above shoulder height and wide. It doesn’t matter what handles you have on, I usually just grab the ball on the cable. Grab with left hand first, then cross over with right arm to grab the other. The cables should make an “X” in front of you. Start with arms fairly straight directly in front of you, then fly them out. Repeat movement, really targeting that upper back.
One Arm Front Raise: Stand tall with overhand grip on a dumbbell resting on your thigh. Raise the dumbbell straight up to shoulder height and return to resting position. Repeat motion targeting the front of your shoulders.
Seated Arnold’s: You can sit on a bench with the back upright to help support your torso, or, like me, you can sit on any bench and rely on your core strength to hold you upright. Start with dumbbells at shoulder height with palms facing your face. As you push them up overhead, slowly rotate your shoulder so that when the dumbbells meet directly center overhead, the palms are now facing out. This really adds a dynamic effect as it works the shoulders from all directions. Maybe that’s why Arnold Schwarzenegger liked them so much, after all!