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Lets talk about SHOULDERS!!! I have been getting a lot of requests for this workout and I want to stress one thing! It's not necessarily a magic set of moves, its consistency. If you are consistent with nearly ANY plan...it will work! And you will experience fabulous results!

I love working shoulders! It's definitely my favorite workout of the week! I think its because its one muscle that will usually stimulate and respond quite fast if you are giving it adequate attention!

I began focusing on building up my shoulders about 6 months ago.  I have worked out for years, but it wasn't until a few months ago I really got organized with my routines, and since then I have noticed a huge difference in the way my body has responded.

** ** Let me preface by saying, I do not workout for looks, or big shoulders. For me, the gym is my sanctuary. I pray there, I relax there, I focus there I push myself there, and I love being there. It's truly my happy place. I absolutely LOVE my time in the gym. Its like a tiny little mental vacation every day.  If you are working out strictly for looks your motivation will never last. True physical Fitness is; feeling good wherever your at, finding balance, physical, emotional and spiritual. A lifestyle, a way of life and a gift from God...that being said....seeing physical changes does HELP motivation, no denying that, and a good routine and consitency is key to making progress! ** **

Previously I would go into the gym, finish my cardio and then throw around  whatever weights weren't being used by other gym goers. Weight training was pretty much an after thought..."If I finish my cardio, I'll use whatever energy I have left to lift whatever weights are laying around." That yielded very little progress over time. Of course lifting any weights in general made a small improvement, but to be able to build muscles properly, and really discover shape and definition, the key is putting your weight training priority before cardio. Iron is king.

Next is to come up with an organized plan,  really get committed to it, don't wimp out,   and allow yourself proper time for rest. (Something I was not previously doing.) If you don't allow time for rest between muscle groups/workouts your muscles have to time to repair. When your muscles repair, they come back stronger every time. Thats what weight training is, breaking down muscle tissue and then building it back stronger every time. Give this routine 3 weeks twice a week and you should begin to notice a difference.

This is a basic version of my shoulder (upper body) routine. It's ever changing, but these are the basics and some of my favorite  exercises I like to  stick to, at least in some form. This workout works your whole upper body. You can't spot reduce or isolate an  (like shoulders) so its better to work the whole top of your body so that all of the muscles in your upper body work together to strengthen. But I have a special love for shoulder muscles so I tend to add more shoulder exercises into my upper body strength plans. Like any exercise routine its a good idea to switch it up every couple of weeks to get maximum benefit from your workout! I don't necessarily do all of these exercises in one workout, but more commonly just pick and choose a few for that day.

If you are unfamiliar with any of the terms a simple google, or youtube search can explain the movement and proper technique. Remember: Proper form is more important than adding weight! Get familiar with the movements before focusing on adding challenging weight to your routine!

Once you have established proper form, find a weight that is challenging for you. Your last few reps should really push you, if not--add more weight!

Fitgirls take note:  *large shoulders make your waist appear smaller.*

Begin with 2-5 minute stretch.

1. Bent over lateral raises (dumbbell) (squeeze the middle of your back)
12 reps 3 sets 20 sec rest in between.

2. Cuban dumbbell press
12 reps 3 sets 30 sec rest between sets.

3. Bent over barbell row
12 reps 3 sets 30 sec rest between sets

4. Behind the neck barbell press (start with barbell add weight when it feels comfortable)
Decrease reps for 3 sets. 12 reps set 1/10 reps set 2/ 8 reps set 3

5. Regular barbell press
Decrease reps for 3 sets. 12 reps for set 1 /10 reps for set 2/ 8 reps for set  3

6. Upright row (barbell)
12 reps 3 sets

7. Dumbbell rows alternating sides.
12 reps 3 sets right side
12 reps 3 sets left side  (alternate sides)

8. Alternate front raise (dumbbells)
12 reps 3 sets

9. Military press (dumbbells)
12 reps 3 sets

10. Kick backs (dumbbells)
12 reps 3 sets right side
12 reps 3 sets left side  (alternate sides)

11. Dips on chair
15 reps 3 sets

12. Wide grip push ups 15 reps 2 sets

13. Narrow grip push ups 15 reps 2 sets

Shoulder workout

Tuesday, March 31, 2015