Building Beautiful Shoulders


Seated Bent-Over Lateral RaisesSeated Bent-Over Lateral Raises

Get Set: Sit on the end of a bench, knees together and take a dumbbell in each hand. Bend forward from the waist and bring dumbbells to the sides of your legs with your palms facing in.

Work: Maintaining the bent-over position, lift the dumbbells out to the side until the weights are in line with your shoulders. Slowly lower the weights and repeat.

Tip: To keep the work in your rear delts, think about keeping the hands wide and lifting the weights straight out to the side. Don’t let the weights shift back behind your shoulders,
as this transfers the work to your trapezius muscle.

Stability Ball Push-ups

Get Set: Begin with your hips on the ball, hands on the floor and feet stretched out straight behind you. Walk hands out a bit so that the ball is positioned either below the thighs or, to make it more difficult, below the ankles. Place hands on floor in line with shoulders.

Work: Lower body by bending elbows, bringing the chest as close to the floor as possible. Make sure to keep head, torso and legs aligned and tight. Straighten arms to complete rep.

Variation: If the stability ball push-up is too challenging, try kneeling push-ups on the floor or a plank hold for 30 seconds (with or without a stability ball).

Mountain Climbers

Get Set: Get in a plank position with hands slightly wider than shoulder width.

Work: While maintaining upper body position, bring one knee up to the chest while touching toe to the ground. Switch legs. Continue alternating legs briskly— the faster the speed, the greater the intensity.

Jump Rope

Get Set: Grab a rope and get in an open space.

Work: Jump 1 to 2 inches off the floor— just enough space for the rope to pass under the balls of the feet. Keep elbows at sides and slightly above the waistline while you turn the rope.

Tip: Having the correct jump rope length will make getting into a good rhythm easier. An easy test to find the right length: When you put the rope under your feet and lift the ends, the handles should reach your sternum.