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Protect & tone your shoulders at home

By Kelly Marshall BSc (Hons), Dip PT, NASM, SFS, IFS, CES

The shoulder joint is the most mobile joint in the body which also makes it one of the most vunerable to injury, so training should ALWAYS consider the smaller muscles that stabilize the shoulder as well as the bigger ones as this prevents injury and enhances visible shape.

So here's some home exercises with this in mi//d2lhwe7okuon6r.cloudfront.net/media/images/resources/

This exercise is so 'functional' (relevant to the demands of everyday life) and effective for strenghtening the shoulder joint, I just had to put this in even though it does actually require you to use a household object for resistance. Choose something that you can hold in one hand that is roughly 1-3kg in weight and allows you to do the exercise with strict technique.

Start with the weighted arm in front of the opposite hip (see Figure A). Keeping the arm straight (but elbow not locked), simply lift the arm outwards and upwards on a diagonal across the body, (as if drawing a sword!).

The finish position, (see figure B), should be one where your arm is higher than head height with the arm still straight. Make sure you keep your shoulders back and down and your chest up proud throughout (i.e. good posture!).

Aim for 12-15 continuous repetitions on one arm then swap over. This movement targets the smaller rotator cuff muscles that support the shoulder joint that aren't targeted effectively with more linear traditional exercises for the shoulders. They are crucial to toning and long-term safe training. If 15 repetitions feels easy on the shoulder then increase the weight by a small amount - you won't need a lot of weight because these are small muscle groups.

Make it harder: Incoporate the legs and core muscles by standing on 1 leg during the exercise. When working the right arm ensure the left leg is weight bearing and vice versa.

2) Pike Shoulder Press

This is essentially a shoulder press-up using your bodyweight as resistance and incoporates all of the muscles that surround the shoulder, big (deltoid muscles) and small (rotator cuff muscles). In addition it also targets the core muscles so it's very comprehensive for core and shoulder strength and toning.

WARNING: this exercise is advanced! Do not try this if you have a shoulder issue or aren't well-experienced in strength training. As a general guide, unless you can do 20 full bodyweight press ups comfortably then don't try this one, have it as something to aim for.

Firstly, establish a press up position with your feet on a sturdy chair (Figure C). Then walk your hands in towards the chair and pike your butt into the air as you do this, until your hands are directly under your shoulders. Aim to keep your legs straight, this depends on hamstring flexibility, so a moderate leg bend is acceptable.

Then, simply bend the elbows and slowly lower your head towards the floor with your chin tucked in, (Figure D). As your elbows near a 90 degree bend push through the arms and push yourself back up. Try to bend and extend the elbow wthout moving the rest of your body. Aim for as many as you can with strict form, it doesn't matter if it's not many to start with.

Exercise How many repetitons? How often?
Standing 1-arm scaption Aim for 12-15 repetitions on each arm 2-3 times a week, not on consecutive days
Pike shoulder press Aim for as many as you can manage 2-3 times a week, not on consecutive days

Do these two exercises together as a program.

Next time we'll target the large muscles of the back, so in the meantime you could use the above routine on its own or in conjunction with other body part routines to create a workout duration and volume to suit you. Enjoy!

You are advised to seek medical advice before making any changes to your diet or lifestyle with an aim of weight loss. This website and the content provided should not be used by persons under 18, by pregnant or nursing women, or individuals with any type of health condition, except under the direct supervision of a qualified medical professional. The information contained in these articles, and elsewhere on this website, is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only, and is not intended to replace, and does not constitute legal, professional, medical or healthcare advice or diagnosis and may not be used for such purposes. Continue...

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