Tank top weather is right around the corner so you need the best shoulder workout to sculpt a gorgeous upper body now. If you’re worried about winding up looking like a linebacker, don’t. Even with regular weightlifting, women are unlikely to bulk up because they don’t have the same level of testosterone that guys do. All a good shoulders workout will do is define, tone and improve your posture. That means you might wind up looking thinner and taller without shedding a pound!
Another thing to keep in mind is that you need to approach spot toning holistically. Your shoulders, biceps, triceps, back and core all work together so if you don’t address them all, you won’t get maximum results and the imbalance could actually lead to injuries.
1. Indoor Rock Wall
Indoor rock walls are not one of the best shoulder workouts, they also strengthen and tone your entire body while getting your heart rate up too. If you’re one of those people who feel like working out is a chore, the rock wall adds an element of excitement and uses your problem-solving skills. It’s also totally versatile — you can focus on different muscle groups on different days. If that doesn’t convince you, it can burn up to 800 calories an hour!
Read Related: Toning Titan: The Upper Body Workout for the Body of an Athlete
2. No Equipment Bodyweight Exercises for Your Back
You need a strong back to support your newly defined shoulders. Not to mention, there’s nothing sexier than a shoulder-baring, backless number. This simple no-equipment back workout from Daily Burn consists of five simple exercises that can be done anywhere. No more excuses!
3. 4-Minute Towel Workout
Not only is this a super quick shoulder workout, the only equipment you need is a hand towel. Stacey Griffith, a senior master instructor at SoulCycle, shows Self how to get the job done.
4. Functional Training
Functional training is about gaining strength and mobility with moves that mimic the way you use your body in daily life. Think reaching, lifting, turning, carrying, etc. These exercises from Functional Movement Systems require dumbbells, a kettle ball and a step.
5. Whole Body Vibration
As the name implies, whole body vibration works your whole body. You stand on a vibrating platform, Power Plate is one brand that you can find in many gyms, and the motion engages all of your muscles as you work to maintain your balance. So how does this help your shoulders? By taking your usual shoulder workout to the next level. Everything — weight lifting, push-ups, etc. — is ten times harder.
6. Yoga for Flexibility
Most of us carry a lot of tension in our shoulders which leads to tight muscles. Change up your routine once or twice a week by doing a few yoga poses like dolphin, downward dog or cobra. Check out Yoga Journal for even more shoulder-centric poses.
7. Ballet-Inspired Circuit
Booty Barre creator, Tracey Mallet, put together six moves for sculpting graceful arms, shoulders, back and chest. She sneaks in a little leg and glute work by adding pliés into the mix. All you need are dumbbells and 15 minutes.