Keen to tone your arms? A PT’s pick of the 8 best shoulder workouts to boost both confidence and strength (Marie Claire)

Posted: Oct 22, 2023 in In the News

This article originally appeared in Marie Claire UK on October 22, 2023.


Keen to tone your arms? A PT’s pick of the 8 best shoulder workouts to boost both confidence and strength

By Amy Sedghi


Looking for a workout to boost your upper body strength? You're in the right place, as we've asked a top personal trainer to share their go-to shoulder workouts. But first, let's take a moment to appreciate the crucial role our shoulders play in day-to-day life, be it when we reach upwards to grab something from a cupboard to when we're lifting weights in the gym. 

While you've likely heard of "leg day" and learned the importance of core exercises, our shoulder workouts don't always get quite the same attention. That said, they should, according to AJ Mason, a personal trainer at Studio Sweat OnDemand. "It's extremely important to incorporate shoulder exercises into a workout routine because they strengthen the muscles connected to your shoulder joints and increase stability for posture," she explains.

This increased strength in the shoulders in turn allows for further stabilisation of muscles that connect to your neck and back, she explains. Stronger shoulder muscles equal overall improved posture, joint health, mobility and balance - especially when lifting, adds Mason. 

It's backed by science, too - a 2012 study, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, found that one hour a week of shoulder-specific strength training (including exercises like front raises and lateral raises) was able to effectively reduce neck and shoulder pain in office workers. 

"A shoulder workout is an exercise that improves overall balanced strength and stability development in the upper body," explains Mason. The main muscles used are the anteriorlateral and posterior deltoids in addition to the supporting muscles that make up the rotator cuff. 

Let's be clear here, too: the shoulder is such a complex joint, that there is not one "best" exercise for targeting this area of the body. A joint study by the American Council on Exercise and the University of Wisconsin—LaCrosse tried to determine which exercises were most effective for strengthening the shoulder muscles, but came to the conclusion that because of the joint's complexity, "it's impossible for one exercise to maximally activate all three heads of the deltoid muscle at one time." Not to mention, the best workout for you and your body might be totally different than your best friends - we're all unique, after all.

That said, Mason has shared her eight favourite shoulder workouts that can be done either at home or in the gym. Each exercise will take roughly five to 15 minutes depending on breaks, or how comfortable you are with weights. "Keep in mind that taking breaks between each set is super important," stresses Mason. "Remember rushing through an exercise can result in improper form, and it is always better to have proper form than get in extra reps."

...Read the full article here.

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