Favorite Shoulder Exercises

 

Shoulder exercises are common amongst women and men. If I were to take a poll of 100 men and women asking them if they included their favorite shoulder exercises in their exercise program, I am sure 90% of them would say yes. How about you? Do you work your shoulders when you exercise?

In this blog, we are going to highlight three of my favorite shoulder exercises. I chose these exercises based upon most people’s goals. Most people want to rehab, sculpt or get stronger shoulder muscles. The following three shoulder exercises are perfect for those three goals.

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Shoulder Exercise #1: Y’s, T’s & A’s:

The first of our favorite shoulder exercises is the Y, T, A exercise (aka: Ball Combo I). It is a great exercise for shoulder support and endurance which is what is required for your shoulder to be stable. This exercise is also a precursor for our next exercise as it is a great way to “prime the pump” for the bigger shoulder muscles.

In order to do this exercise right, you want to:

  1. Lie on your stomach on a stability ball with your legs straight and toes on the floor.
  2. Activate your abs by pulling your bellybutton to your spine.
  3. Squeeze your butt, and keep you knees straight.
  4. Hold light dumbbells (if necessary) in each hand.
  5. Lift your chest off the ball, be careful not to arch your back or jut your head forward. Extend your arms in front of your body. Lift your arms in front of your body at a 45-degree angle with your thumbs pointed up. Hold this position.
  6. Next, move your arms straight out to the side keeping your thumbs up with your arms forming a “T.” Hold this position.
  7. Move your arms to the sides of your body with your thumbs up and palms facing out. Hold the last position and then return to the starting position, circling your arms down in front of the stability ball.

 

Exercise Tips:

Go slow.
Focus on squeezing your shoulders down and back.
Keep your abs active and butt squeezed.
Perform 2-3 Sets of 12-15 reps.

 

Shoulder Exercise #2: Standing DB Front Raises

Standing DB Front Raises is the second of our favorite shoulder exercises. It is a natural progression from the Y’s, T’s & A’s. This exercise is focused on producing enough internal tension in your muscles to overcome the external force of the dumbbell you’re lifting. By doing this, you can develop some very nice muscle sculpting and strength.

In order to do this exercise right, you want to:

  1. Hold dumbbells at your side, with palms facing behind you.
  2. Squeeze your abs and butt to engage the proper core muscles
  3. Raise both arms at a 90-degree angle in front of your body until hands reach eye level.
  4. Keep shoulder blades squeezed together and down through the exercise. Also, do not allow your low back to arch.
  5. Slowly return arms back to sides of body and repeat.

Exercise Tips:

Go at a medium speed.
Focus on squeezing your shoulders down and back.
Keep your abs active and butt squeezed.
Perform 3-4 Sets of 8-12 reps.

 

Shoulder Exercise #3: Overhead Medicine Ball Throw

The Overhead Medicine Ball Throw is the last of my three favorite shoulder exercises. This exercise actually combines the stabilization and strength from the first and second exercise to allow you to gain power. Since we never know when we have to move or react quickly in our everyday lives, it is important that we prepare for it through exercises like this. Also, this is a fun exercise as you get to throw something while producing a lot of force too!

In order to do this exercise right, you want to:

  1. Stand with your back to a solid wall in a semi-squat position holding a medicine ball as shown in the video above.
  2. Jump off the ground explosively, extending arms over your head.
  3. Throw the medicine ball off the wall.
  4. Release the ball before arms pass ears. Do not allow the back to arch.
  5. Land in a controlled and stable manner. Reclaim the medicine ball and repeat.

Conclusion

Shoulder exercises should be included in your workout if done correctly and in the right progression. The three exercises we’ve listed here are all great for getting you the goals you are looking for. Try them and let me know what you think about them! If you would like my help developing a shoulder routine specific to you, then please contact me now!

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