Shoulder Exercises to Sculpt and Tighten
Firm, chiseled shoulders not only help give you great posture but also make you look good. Learn how to get those shoulders moving in part 5 of WebMD's Fitness Series.
Balance Is Important continued...
Inherently, that makes the shoulder more at risk for
"The shoulder is hypermobile and can easily be dislocated.
It is easy to put it into a susceptible position."
When working the shoulder with free weights as in a lateral
raise, the weight is far from the joint
moving it, which can create instability.
"As the poundage that you're holding gets farther away from
the joint your working, there is greater risk of injury," says Gunning.
The heavier the weight, the more difficult it is to keep a
joint like the shoulder stable. Lighter weights are a much better choice.
"Muscles in the shoulder are small," says Gunning,
"so weights should be pretty light."
Another weak part of the shoulder for many people is the
rotator cuff. It is prone to injury from overuse, she says.
"People should be actively training the rotator with
internal and external rotation," Gunning says. This can be done with tubing
that is attached to something to hold its tension. The arm would begin bent at
the elbow and holding one end of the tubing pull the forearm toward you for
internal rotation and away for external rotation.
"People pay more attention to the vanity exercises that
actually build the muscles but the tendons and ligaments need to be
strengthened too," Gunning says.
Another reason to train shoulders is that these muscles are
assistors in just about any upper body exercise, including push-ups, bicep
curls, and chest presses, Calabrese explains.
Calabrese and Gunning offer these safety tips:
"Start from a neutral position, relaxed with shoulders
down. Start out with a resistance that will allow you to perform the move
properly," says Calabrese.
She suggests using a mirror to track and maintain proper
"If it feels awkward, sometimes you're so misaligned that
you get used to holding your body the wrong way," says Calabrese. "A
mirror can help. Keep resetting yourself and realigning yourself and focus on
Focus on the concentric (shortening) and eccentric
(lengthening) equally, she explains. And always work slowly -- two to three
seconds in each direction.