Shoulder Exercises

woman doing lateral pressHere you will find a listing of
shoulder exercises to use in your shoulder workout. Each of the shoulder
exercises listed should be performed with proper form to not only avoid injury,
but to also allow the muscle to go through a full range of motion and get the
most out of the exercise.

Seated Barbell Military
Press

1. Sit at a military press
rack, smith machine, power rack or anywhere that will allow you to put a barbell
on a rack behind and above you.
2. Grab the barbell with a slightly
wider than shoulder width grip with your palms facing forward.
3.
Lift the barbell off of the rack and press it straight up over your head.

4. Lower the barbell either in front of your head towards the top of
your chest, or behind your head towards the back of your neck.
5.
Using your shoulders, press the barbell straight back up overhead.

– Whether or not you lower the
bar in front of or behind your head is up to you. Both ways are effective. Also
keep in mind that behind the head may put a little added stress on the shoulders
for people with any type of shoulder related injuries. I personally prefer
behind the head.
– This exercise can also be performed standing.
– While
primarily a shoulder exercise, the barbell military press also recruits the use
of the triceps secondarily.

Seated Dumbbell Shoulder
Press

1. Sit in a shoulder press
seat (or any seat with a back) and grab a dumbbell in each hand.
2.
With your palms facing forward, lift both dumbbells into the air so that each
dumbbell is about level with your chin.
3. Using your shoulders,
press each dumbbell straight up overhead simultaneously until they almost touch
each other and your elbows are almost locked.
4. Lower each dumbbell
back to the starting position (about level with your chin).

– This exercise can also be
performed standing.
– While primarily a shoulder exercise, the seated
dumbbell shoulder press also recruits the use of the triceps secondarily.

Lateral Raises

1. Stand with your feet
shoulder width apart and your knees slightly bent.
2. With your palms
facing each other, let your arms hang in front of your thighs with a dumbbell in
each hand.
3. With your elbows slightly bent, lift your arms out to
the sides of your body until your arms are at shoulder height. When you reach
the top position the arms and body should resemble the letter T.
4.
Lower your arms back to the starting position.

– This exercise can also be
performed one arm at a time and with cables.

Front Dumbbell Raises

1. Stand with your feet
shoulder width apart and your knees slightly bent.
2. With a dumbbell
in each hand, allow your arms to hang in front of you so that your palms are
facing the front of your thighs.
3. With your elbow slightly bent,
lift one arm straight out in front of you until your arm is at shoulder height.

4. Lower that arm back to the starting position.
5. With
your other elbow slightly bent, lift the other arm straight out in front of you
until your arm is at shoulder height.
6. Lower that arm back to the
starting position.

– This exercise can also be
performed with both arms at the same time, with a barbell and with cables.

One other thing that some people
don’t realize (I know because I get 100’s of e-mails like this) is that shoulder
exercises like the barbell and dumbbell press, front and lateral raises, or any
other shoulder exercise for that matter, will only help build muscle and
increase strength in your shoulders. Shoulder exercises DO NOT target any of the
fat that is specifically located on your shoulders. If there is any fat, muscle
will be built underneath this fat. You must then work on getting rid of that fat
in order to see more “tone and definition” or look more “ripped and cut up” or
whatever other fancy words you can think of. The ONLY way to lose fat from ANY
part of the body is through either a proper diet, cardio or a combination of
both.

The Best Time Of The Day To Do Cardio

cardioWARNING: What you are about to read is the answer to the most common question people have about their cardio/aerobic workout. What you are about to read is all 100% true! What you are about to read is the answer to the question that personal trainers and fitness magazines will make you pay for. Enjoy..

This is another time where what I am writing is inspired by questions people have mailed to me. So, be sure to keep those questions coming so I have more material to write about.

Now, on to the question. When is the best time of day to do cardio, and why? Well, I bet most people do cardio “whenever they get a chance.” Sometimes during the middle of the day, sometimes before bed, sometimes directly after your weightlifting workout, sometimes
directly before the weightlifting workout and sometimes first thing in the morning. The truth is, all of those times will get results. It doesn’t matter what time of day you do your cardio workout, you will be burning calories every time. BUT, the real question is, which of those times is the most effective? And the answer is (drum roll please)…. first thing in the morning!

Doing cardio first thing in the morning, on an empty stomach, before you eat anything heavy, is by far, the most effective. Whether you run, jog, walk, swim, jump rope, take an aerobics class, ride a bike, etc., doing it first thing in the morning is the best time to do it for maximum fat loss. Why? Its simple. When you do your cardio workout, you are burning calories. Lets say you wake up, eat breakfast, eat lunch later in the day, and then a few hours after lunch, you do your cardio. All you will be doing during that cardio is burning the calories and carbs of the food you just ate. When you do cardio first thing in the morning, you haven’t eaten anything for the last 8 or so hours because you were sleeping. So, when your body sees that there are no carbs to burn, it goes directly to stored body fat. And stored body fat is the fat that is on your body, which is the fat that you want to lose!

Understand how it works? When you do your cardio sometime during the day other then first thing in the morning, you spend most of that time burning off carbs that you already ate that day. When you do it first thing in the morning, there are no carbs to burn, so all your body can burn is body fat!

Some people have e-mailed me asking what type of cardio I do and I tell them I jog on my treadmill first thing in the morning. Even though I do all of my weightlifting at a gym, I do my cardio in my house on my own treadmill so I can do it first thing in the morning without having to take a shower, get dressed and do whatever else I’d do if I went to the gym to do cardio.