Shoulder exercises have several benefits:
- Improved posture: Our shoulders play an important role in supporting our upper body. Doing shoulder exercises can strengthen these muscles.
- Reduced risk of injury: The demands of intense physical activities like heavy lifting and playing sports can place a lot of stress on our joints. Doing shoulder exercises can strengthen the muscles around our shoulder to add a layer of protection. This added muscle can also increase our stability around our shoulder.
- Performance: Exercising your shoulder muscles will enable you to have greater strength, stability, and mobility which can have a positive effect on a variety of physical movements like lifting, throwing, and climbing.
If you’re looking to get a sculpted shoulders, you’re in luck. Fitness model & Personal Trainer, Alex Michael Turner, takes us through a series of dumbbell shoulder exercises for a strong and powerful shoulder build. This isn’t your typical shoulder workout; these key shoulder exercises show you exactly what to do and how to maximize your shoulder day at the gym.
One of Alex’s key tips for shoulder day, start slow and build your way up:
“The biggest thing with shoulders is not starting off heavy or trying to impress anybody. Shoulders are a very awesome but sensitive muscle group, you want to take care of them, they’re easy to injure.” - Alex M. Turner
Alex’s Shoulder Day Workout Plan
- Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press
- Dumbbell Lateral Raise
- Dumbbell Front Raise
- Cable Upright Row
- Reverse Pec Deck Fly
The reason I feel my abs are so defined is that I tend to do muscular movements without back support. If I can do presses, like shoulder presses, where I can support myself and use my core muscles, it gives me a double burn to my core and my shoulders. With every shoulder exercise, I start off with a light set to loosen up the muscles and get blood flowing prior to going heavy. The biggest thing I see is people jumping to heavy weights right away. Get to the heavy weights the right way. When you’re seated doing shoulder presses, one tip is to get the weight on your knees to help launch that weight into the starting position and then put it back on the knees when you’re finished.
With side lateral raises, one of the biggest mistakes I see people make is that they come in front of the body. You want to keep the dumbbells to your side and as we raise, I hang my hands to put more focus on the medial delts. We drag the weight up to our sides and let it hang. Don’t jar your head forward during this movement, it can cause neck injury. Keep your eyes straight ahead, shoulders back and eyes facing forward.
With front raises, I keep the weight to my sides and my grip facing inwards. I start off doing single arms by themselves and then move into doing double arms to end each set. I generally do about 10 reps each arm and then go straight into double arm.
With this movement, one big thing is you want to pretend that you’re tearing the bar apart at the top. As you raise the bar in front of your face, you want to pull and create a tension on the bar. This will target your entire delt as you pull the weight apart. Drag the bar up along your body and at the top pull outward. Remember to keep your elbows above your hands during this movement.
This is my favorite movement for rear deltoids. If you switch the grips to face inward, you can isolate the rear delts and if you want to use it for back day you can also target your traps. Do this movement slowly and avoid throwing the weight. I go light to get more movement out of this.
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