I’m going to give you 2 good reasons why you should get your shoulders as strong as possible.  First of all, you DON’T ever want to have shoulder surgery.  Of all the post-surgical patients we treated at our physical therapy centers, shoulders were amongst the toughest to treat.  The pain is tremendous and the rehab is no fun.  Secondly, having strong shoulders makes you look better.  Your posture will improve by helping you get rid of those rounded shoulders and guess what?  You’ll even look thinner!  Bigger shoulders make your waist look smaller (remember wearing shoulder pads in the 80’s?)

I asked Christie Matkozich PT, CSCS, Director of Personal Training at the Gainesville Health & Fitness Center, to show us her favorite shoulder sculpting exercises.  Christie oversees over 40 Personal Trainers and is responsible for over 700 training sessions per week.  To top that off, Christie is also a licensed physical therapist.  In other words, she REALLY knows her stuff.

Do the following exercises 2-3 times per week over the next month.  If you do, I promise you’ll definitely notice a significant increase in strength!  If any of the exercises are painful, try a lighter weight.  If that still hurts, stop and contact a local physical therapist.  He or she will be able to create a plan best suited for you.

1. Arnold press

Stand with two dumbbells positioned in front of your shoulders, palms facing body and elbows under your wrists.

Begin the movement by bringing elbows out to your sides. Continue to raise elbows outward while pressing dumbbells overhead until arms are straight. Lower to the front of shoulders. Repeat 10-12 times.

2. Deltoid Matrix

Grasp dumbbells in both hands. Position dumbbells in front of thighs with your elbows straight or slightly bent.

Raise dumbbells forward and upward until upper arms are horizontal.  Slowly move arms out to the side (form a T) from that position.  Lower dumbbells and repeat.

3. Single Arm Rear Delt

Lie on your side–either on a bench or raised platform.  If you’re doing this at home, your bed would work great.  Separate your legs for support. Grasp dumbbell in front of your chest with arm extended.

Raise dumbbell from starting point until arm is vertical. Maintain fixed elbow position (10° to 30° angle) throughout exercise.  Lower and repeat.   To protect your neck, keep your shoulder down—try not to hike it up to your ear.

So get started today!  Who doesn’t want sleek and sexy shoulders this summer?  Let me know how you like the results.

Get Strong and Smile,