Shoulder Exercises


Strong, well-defined shoulders not only look good, they're essential for everyday activities that involve lifting, extending, and rotating the arms. This article has several exercises designed to strengthen and tone the muscles in the shoulder and the rotator cuff. These make a great addition to your upper body workout.

For our first shoulder exercise you'll need a resistance band, which you can purchase at most sporting goods and fitness stores.

Step 1

Assume start position as shown with resistance tube under the arch of your foot.

Step 2

Pull band up toward your collar bone, elbows pointed up toward the ceiling to form a “V” with your arms.

Step 3

Return to start position.

For more great exercises to improve your strength and fitness, check out:

How to Do a Shoulder Press with Resistance Band

In this variation of a shoulder press, a resistance band is used. For best results, control the band, stretching it slowly throughout the exercise.

Step 1

Assume start position as shown with resistance band under the arch of your foot, hands by your shoulders, palms facing in.

Step 2

Stretch band out as you lift your arms overhead.

For more great exercises to improve your strength and fitness, check out:

How to Do Lateral Raises on Stability Ball

Lateral raises are a popular -- and effective -- exercise for the shoulders. This variation is performed while sitting on a stability ball.

Step 1

Assume start position as shown, sitting on stability ball, hands comfortably at sides.

Step 2

Raise dumbbells at sides up to shoulder height.

Step 3

Return to start position.

For more great exercises to improve your strength and fitness, check out:

How to Do Front Shoulder Raises on Stability Ball

Try these front shoulder raises while seated on a stability ball to tone and strengthen your shoulders. Remember to raise the dumbbells just to the shoulders, not higher.

Step 1

Assume start position as shown, sitting on stability ball, hands comfortably at sides.

Step 2

Raise dumbbells to the front up to shoulder height.

Step 3

Return to start position.

For more great exercises to improve your strength and fitness, check out:

How to Do an Arnold Press

The Arnold press was named for the man who made it popular: Arnold Schwarzenegger. You can master this challenging shoulder exercise by carefully following these directions.

Step 1

Assume start position as shown with weights in hands, palms facing in.

Step 2

Start to lift weights overhead, and rotate them on the way up.

Step 3

End position should be palms facing out.

Step 4

To return to start position, rotate elbow as it bends in toward center of body.

For more great exercises to improve your strength and fitness, check out:

How to Do a Reverse Fly

A reverse fly is a great exercise for defining the backs of the shoulders. For this shoulder exercise, you'll need dumbbells and a stability ball.

Step 1

Assume start position as shown by sitting on ball; lean your chest over your legs.

Step 2

Weights should start comfortably at the sides of your calves, palms facing back.

Step 3

Bring weights out to sides up to shoulder height and squeeze shoulder blades together.

Step 4

Return to start position.

For more great exercises to improve your strength and fitness, check out:

How to Do an External Rotation: Rotator Cuff Strengthener

Athletes aren't the only ones who need strong rotator cuffs. Strengthening this group of shoulder muscles can help anyone prevent shoulder stiffness and injury. An external rotation is one exercise that helps strengthen the rotator cuff.

Step 1

Assume start position as shown by attaching one side of your resistance tube to a steady bar or piece of equipment.

Step 2

While keeping upper arm still, rotate forearm away from your body.

Step 3

Return to start position.

For more great exercises to improve your strength and fitness, check out:

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Lottie Olson is a nationally certified personal trainer with 10 years of experience in fitness and personal training. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin in Oshkosh with a B.S. in Exercise Science and Fitness Management.