Shoulders

Exercises

■ Press behind the neck

■ Seated dumbbell press

■ Side lateral raises

■ Alternate front dumbbell raises

■ Bent over laterals

■ Arnold presses

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Press Behind The Neck

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Position

1. Sitting down on a bench with back support and special supports. Press your back firmly against the padding for support.

2. Grasp a barbell with your hands spaced a little wider than shoulder width. Keep your back and head straight with your feet firmly planted on the floor.

3. Take the weight off the rack and press the bar directly over your head in a vertical line.

Execution

1. Slowly lower the bar behind your head to just below the ears.

2. Push the bar back up without bounding the weight. Remember to keep the back straight and flat (no arching) Repeat the movement.

3. Keep the movement fluent, slow, and controlled.

Seated Dumbbell Presses

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Position

1. In a seated position with your feet firmly planted on the floor, grasp two dumbbells with both hands.

2. Curl the weight up to the shoulder area. Hold the dumbbells at shoulder level. Keep your back straight and your head up.

3. Make sure you rotate your palms so they are facing forward.

Execution

1. In a controlled fashion, press the dumbbells simultaneously upwards to the overhead position. The dumbbells should lightly touch each other at the top position. Do not arch the back. Slowly lower the weight down and repeat the movement.

2. Keep the movement fluent, slow, and controlled.

Side Lateral Raises

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1. This exercise can be performed standing or seated.

2. With both hands, grasp the dumbbells with the palms facing each other. The arms must be bent in order to stress the lateral deltoids.

If you are standing, make sure your feet are firmly planted on the floor spaced evenly at a little less than shoulder length. If you are seated, make sure your feet are firmly planted on the floor and the ankles almost touching each other.

Execution

1. Keeping elbows slightly bent, raise the dumbbells in an arc from the side of your body to level with your head. Slowly lower the dumbbells back to the start position. Repeat movement.

2. Keep the movement fluent, slow, and controlled.

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Position

1. Stand with your feet about shoulder length apart.

2. Lift a pair of dumbbells and allow them to rest on your upper thighs with your palms facing downward. Your arms should be straight.

Execution

1. Lift one dumbbell with your arm in front of your body until the palm is just above shoulder height.

2. Slowly lower the dumbbell back to it's starting position.

Bent Over Dumbbell Laterals

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Position

1. In a seated position with your feet firmly planted on the floor, grasp two dumbbells with both hands.

2. Bend over until your body is roughly parallel to the ground or slightly above. Your chest should almost be touching your thighs.

Execution

1. In a controlled fashion, raise the dumbbells with both hands using your shoulders, out and away from the body. You should raise the dumbbells to each side until they are parallel with the upper back.

2. Pause for a moment and slowly lower the weight to the initial position.

The Arnold Press

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Position

1. In a seated position with your feet firmly planted on the floor, grasp two dumbbells with both hands.

2. Curl the weight up to the shoulder area. Hold the dumbbells at shoulder level with palms facing the body . Keep your back straight and your head up.

Execution

1. In a controlled fashion, slowly press the dumbbells simultaneously upwards and rotate your hands forward until you have fully extended your arms upwards. Slowly lower the weight down and repeat the movement.

2. Keep the movement fluent, slow, and controlled.

3. Remember, the real trick to the Arnold press is not the upwards motion but the downwards motion. The real work of this exercise occurs when you return the weight to it's starting position. Really concentrate on the negative portion of this movement for maximum effect.

Single Arm Dumbbell Lateral Raise

This is one of my favorite exercises and one held in high regard by the old time trainers. Besides being a fantastic shoulder builder, this exercise does not cause a whole lot of back discomfort. The exercise fixes your position thereby avoiding all possibility of cheating.

This is one exercise you don't see being done very often these days but trust me, it is very effective.

Position

1. Place your left arm on a suitable support. I usually use the back of an incline bench. You can use an incline bench or the dumbbell rack.

2. Standing with your legs apart, hold a dumbbell in your right hand. Adopt a comfortable position with your torso bent slightly forward at a 70 degree angle.

1. Raise the dumbbell out to the side, keeping the palm of your hand facing downward. Try and really concentrate on using your shoulder to lift the weight. Remember, your arm should be slightly bent and unlocked).

2. Don't start this exercise with a thrust. You will use the momentum instead of muscle to raise the weight which you don't want.

Position

1. Hold your torso bent forward slightly in order to put stress exclusively on the lateral deltoid head.

Side Cable Lateral Raise

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1. Slowly raise your arm without any pause. Your arm should be at shoulder height when your stop and slowly bring it back down.

2. Make this a continuous tension movement by keeping constant pressure on the deltoids.

3. Keep the movement fluent, slow, and controlled.

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