Shape Stunning Shoulders
Images by Dallas Olsen | Model: Kirri Wood | Hair and make-up by Stacey Hutson | Dumbbells by Cyberfit
How are your shoulders looking today? Are they wide, rounded, boney, droopy? How would you like them to look?
No matter how you want to shape them, it’s important to recognise that on top of looking great, strong shoulders offer an advanced degree of mobility. While the three different deltoid heads – anterior (front), lateral (side) and the posterior (back) – do allow for greater mobility, it can also allow for increased risk of errors and injuries.
So let’s run through a few common errors so you can look and feel amazing – injury-free. First and foremost, to prevent injury, you need to avoid two of the most common mistakes: going too heavy and using too much momentum. Your delts are relatively small, so to isolate them you need to minimise assistance from other muscles by minimising momentum. If you find yourself swaying too much, decrease the weight and feel the burn as you practise time under tension. If you can’t help yourself when it comes to momentum, try sitting on a bench to perform the standing examples until you’re more confident with technique.
For best results and to avoid overtraining your shoulders, try to avoid training them after your chest workout. During your chest workouts, your shoulders are one of the main stabilising muscles, so it’s advisable to leave a couple of days between chest and shoulder training days.
And last, but definitely not least, don’t forget your rear (posterior) deltoids! It’s easy to get carried away with training your anterior and lateral delts as they’re what we predominantly see in the mirror. Rear delts assist you during lat exercises, such as rows and pulldowns, but often don’t get enough of a workout for significant development. For good measure, we’ve thrown in a one-arm rear-delt row to ensure you’re hitting all delts for balanced, strong and stunning shoulders this singlet season!
SETS & REPS:
Complete this workout two to three times per week on non-consecutive days, doing two to three sets of 12 to 20 reps for each exercise. As these exercises are complex, start with lighter weights.
TARGET MUSCLES: Anterior and lateral deltoids
Set-up: Stand with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart, holding a dumbbell in one hand with your palm facing the front of your thigh.
Action: Bend your knees to squat. As you rise, pull the dumbbell upward. Rotate your arm to the point where your hand is upward then extend your arm overhead. Slowly reverse the move, then repeat. When all reps are complete, swap sides.
Tip: Maintain steady breathing.
TARGET MUSCLES: Posterior deltoids
Set-up: Stand with your feet hip-width apart and a dumbbell in each hand with your palms facing in. Lean forward from the hips. Your knees should be slightly bent and your back straight. Hold the dumbbells in front of your chest.
Action: Contract your abs and pull your shoulder blades together as you raise the dumbbells out to the side. Your elbows should be slightly bent and the dumbbells should go no higher than your shoulders. Slowly return to the start and repeat.
Tip: Pretend you’re trying to hold a pencil between your shoulder blades at the top of the movement.
For the full article and workout, check out the latest issue of Oxygen in all good newsagents, or you can click here to subscribe.
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