Shoulders & Abs Workout Routine
Strong, defined shoulders create a straight and strong silhouette. I love working out this area of my body because I feel like I stand up straighter and look better in clothes. I like to couple my shoulder workout with abs. Since the shoulder area is a smaller part of your body than legs or back, it makes sense to team it up with abs in a split routine. Strong abs are also vital to posture, and as you build core strength you slim your midsection. I’m still on the 5-sets-at-my-5-rep-max-weight routine, meaning I lift as heavy as I can where I can do 5 full sets of 5 reps. Here’s what I’ve been doing lately:
5×5 Front Lat Raise Stand with feet slightly apart and dumbbells in hands, palms facing you. Slowly lift arms 180 degrees until they are above your head. Lower slowly and repeat.
5×5 Arnold Press I’ve read that the Arnold press is a good alternative to a shoulder press for strengthening your shoulders without damaging your rotator cuffs. I’ve also read the opposite, so use your own judgment. Stand with legs slightly apart, dumbbells in hands with your arms bent and dumbbells at your shoulders facing you. Lift and rotate your wrists so when your arms are overhead, your palms have rotated away from you. Lower slowly and repeat.
5×5 Side Lat Raise Stand with feet slightly apart, dumbbell in each hand at your sides. Lift arms out and up 90 degrees until they are straight out forming a T position with your body. Lower slowly and repeat.
5×5 Reverse fly On an incline bench, kneel face down with your knees bent on the seat and dumbbell in each hand. Raise arms out to your sides, lower slowly and repeat.
5×5 Rear Delt I use the rear delt machine for this one!
50 Side-to-Side Bends I also call these ticktocks. Stand in a lowered squat position with a dumbbell in each hand. Bend elbows and bring dumbbells together in front of your chest. Slowly pivot at waist from side to side. Great for your obliques!
25 V-sits Lie on a mat on your back with arms straight out above your head. Slowly contract abs and bring your arms and legs up to form a V. Lower and repeat.
Pilates Hundred Lie on a mat on your back with arms at your sides and legs in either a bent tabletop position or straight out at a 45 or 90 degree angle, whichever is most challenging while still being comfortable. Contract your abs, lifting head and upper back off the mat. Pump your arms up and down in a concentrated manner 100 times while focusing on the contraction of your abs.
50 Bicycle Crunches In a traditional crunch position, bring left elbow to right knee and alternate.
25 Reverse kick crunch Lie on your back on a mat with legs straight out and hands forming a diamond under your tailbone for support. Lift legs off ground slightly and bend knees to bring into your body as you reverse crunch and lift butt slightly off ground, then kick legs straight out again and repeat.
1 Min Plank Pretty self-explanatory! You can do with bent elbows or with arms straight out. Focus on your core throughout the whole exercise.
1 Min Side Planks Form a straight line with your body on your side as you lift off of your lower arm. Lift opposite arm straight up overhead and hold, concentrating on your obliques.
This workout has really helped me to define and strengthen my shoulders. I have gotten inspiration for these exercises from a variety of sources including Strong Lifts 5×5, Women’s Health Magazine, Shape, Self, personal training, and experimenting at the gym.
Please note that I am not a personal trainer or expert, just a girl who knows what works for me. Consult with your doctor or trainer before starting any fitness program.
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