Let me start by saying there is just NOTHING like a good pair of round shapely shoulders to make any tank top, strapless dress or bikini look tremendous!
It’s often surprising to hear that strong, round shoulders are necessary in order to create a curvaceous figure – BUT sculpted shoulders help to achieve that hourglass shape that has defined sexy for generations. By simply developing your shoulders, your waist appears smaller, your lower body looks more balanced, and those thirty six-twenty- four-thirty six (Shout out to Sir Mix-A-Lot) proportions become a reality!
The focus of any good shoulder workout should be to develop the deltoids— the triangular muscle covering the shoulder joint. The deltoid is compromised of three heads: the anterior (front delt), the medial (side delt) and the posterior (rear delt). Together, these muscles rotate and lift the arm, making everyday activities, like picking up objects, possible. To sculpt sexy shoulders, it’s critical to develop all three portions of the muscle.
Lateral raises enhance your appearance by creating a contrast between your shoulders, your waists, and your hips. The exercise has the same effect as wearing shoulder pads – by making your shoulders appear wider, your waist and hips appear slimmer. The dumbbell lateral raise also works the muscles that support and stabilize your shoulders. The muscles worked during a dumbbell lateral raise are:
- Your lateral deltoids
- Your anterior deltoid
- Your supraspinatus
- Your trapezius muscles
Stand with dumbbells to the side of your body or held slightly in front. Raise your arms out to the side to shoulder height while maintaining a slight bend at the elbow.
TIP: I like to do this at one weight for 5 reps with a 2-5 second hold and them drop the weight to something lighter and complete 10-12 reps.
Cable Front Raises
The cable front raise is a great exercise for isolating the front delts. Since this is an isolation exercise, the focus should be on form and muscle contraction, not weight. Cable front raises work on:
- Your anterior deltoids
- Your medial deltoids
Start by facing away from a pulley and holding a rope or bar attachment with one hand on each handle in front of your thighs with your palms facing each other (rope attachment) or palms facing your body (bar attachment). Keeping your arms straight, raise the weight up until your arms are about parallel to the floor at shoulder height. Slowly lower your arms back down and repeat.
TIP: I *LOVE* to superset these with front plate raises or front plate twists (i.e. the exercise I like to call “Drive the Bus”). Just hold a weight plate out flat in front of your body at arms length. For plate raises, raise the plate up and down from shoulder height down to your legs slowly, repeating. For plate twists, keep the plate held at shoulder height and twist your hands so your left hand goes from 9 o’clock position to 12 o’clock position and your right hand goes from 3 o’clock position to 12 o’clock position back and forth like you’re driving (an erratic) school bus all over town.
Rear Delt Cable Face Pulls
The best way to train your rear delts is to perform an exercise known as the face pull. This exercise not only focuses on your shoulders, but it also targets and strengthens the muscles responsible for moving your shoulder blades. Read delt cable face pulls work (you guessed it!):
- Your rear deltoids
Attach the rope attachment to a pulley and stand in front facing the machine. Make sure the cable is set up above your head. Grab the rope with your palms facing each other and take a couple of steps back. Place your feet in a staggered stance with your arms extended out in front of you. Pull the rope toward your face, rotating your arms up and letting your elbows flare out to the side as you pull the rope to either side of your face.
For this exercise I just tend to do a standard set and rep of about 4-5 sets of 12 reps.