3 simple exercises to strengthen the shoulders

Shoulder strength and tone are very important. Many people lose their range of motion in the shoulders over time, which limits their activities in daily living. It also is not uncommon for athletes and those who are a bit more fit and play sports on weekends, to tear their rotator cuffs or otherwise injure their shoulders. Both of these scenarios can be lessened if one learns how to strengthen their deltoid muscles. This will keep blood moving in the area, keep the front, sides and back of the shoulders toned, and help protect from shoulder injury while developing or mainlining range of motion.

The deltoids rest atop the arm above the triceps. And while many who do weight training develop the interior shoulder muscles, they avoid or forget about the importance of strengthening the deltoids. In today’s video article, Alan Orr will teach you 3 simple deltoid exercises with hand weights that are great for those who swim or play any of the racket sports, or even use their arms in swinging motions like lifting weights or construction and martial arts. Strengthening the deltoid muscles, will get you a stronger shoulder overall and improve blood circulation and reduce risk of injury.

Exercise 1 – Anterior lift

Stand with feet shoulder’s width apart, holding weights in hands with palms facing out. Then raise the weights, at the same time, upward and at about a 45-degree angle. Do not grip the weights in the hand, but rather cup the hands in a way that the weights rest in the palms. Keep your elbows locked at a 45-degree angle and lift and lower from waist to shoulders. This will work the anterior aspect of the shoulders. Do about 12 reps.

Exercise 2 – Lateral lift

With this exercise, you do grip the weights and hold them palms facing down. Like the previous exercise, you want to be relaxed and steady in raising and lowering the weights, with arms locked, along the lateral or sides of the body. Again, 12 repetitions should do it.

Exercise 3 – Posterior lift

For this exercise you want to bend your knees and hips, but keep a neutral spine. Make a V-shape with the weights in front of you, with palms up and not gripping. From this position, pull your shoulders together toward the spine to lift the weights upward and backward. While this does also strengthen the rotator cuff, it focuses on the back of the shoulders and deltoid muscle. Do 12 repetitions.

With these exercises you will train the three aspects of the shoulder: the anterior, lateral, and posterior. You can use whatever hand weight is comfortable, yet still proves resistance, but lighter is better than heavier. You don’t want to have to sway your body to raise the weights.


Dr. Mark Wiley

By Dr. Mark Wiley

Dr. Mark Wiley is an internationally renowned mind-body health practitioner, author, motivational speaker and teacher. He holds doctorates in both Oriental and alternative medicine, has done research in eight countries and has developed a model of health and wellness grounded in a self-directed, self-cure approach. Dr. Wiley has written 14 books and more than 500 articles. He serves on the Health Advisory Boards of several wellness centers and associations while focusing his attention on helping people achieve healthy and balanced lives through his work with Easy Health Options® and his company, Tambuli Media.