Sexy Shoulders - Keeping It Simple!

The shoulder is covered by a three headed muscle called the deltoid. Learn how to get sexy shoulders, the easy way!
I think it's only fair that we start with a little anatomy. The shoulder is covered by a three headed muscle called the deltoid. These three heads are called the anterior, lateral and posterior. Each of these muscles is connected to your upper arm bone called the humerus.

The anterior and lateral heads originate on your collarbone while the posterior head originates on the scapula. With me so far? More importantly, the heads of the deltoid muscle can individually be best described by telling you that the:

  • Anterior deltoid lifts or raises the arms to the front
  • Lateral deltoid lifts or raises the arms to the side
  • Posterior deltoid lifts or raises the arms to the rear

O.K., with all that said, I now can tell you the importance of attacking the shoulders from 3 sides with it making some sense - right? But before we go any further, attempt to lift any weights we must always properly warm up our muscles before putting strain on them. Cold, tight muscles and lifting weights is a formula for possible and unnecessary injury.


Stretching Shoulder Muscles

Shoulder Stretch #1

  1. Move one arm across your body, almost as if you were going to take a backhand swing.

  2. Grasp the elbow of the arm in motion with your other hand and gently pull the arm further across your body

  3. Hold for a count of 10 and repeat three times with each arm.

Shoulder Stretch #2

  1. Interlace your fingers above your head.

  2. With the palms facing up, push your arms up and back gently.

  3. Hold for 15 seconds.

Shoulder Stretch #3

  1. With your arms overhead, hold the elbow of one arm with the hand of the other arm.

  2. Gently pull your elbow behind your head, creating a stretch.

  3. Hold for 15 seconds.

Shoulder Stretch #4

  1. With your arms extended overhead, hold the outside of your left hand with your right hand.

  2. Keeping your arms as straight and comfortable as possible, pull the left arm to the right side.

  3. Hold this for 15 seconds on each side.

Stretching should also be performed during rest periods between sets!


Training Philosophies

Now let's start to tattoo the word sexy on our shoulders. There are many different training philosophies employed in the gym, but I feel that working your shoulders, chest and triceps on the same day is most beneficial.

I normally start with chest exercises first. Flat, incline, and decline bench presses will require the deltoids' assistance, not too much, but enough to provide them with movement and some work to warm them up.

Since I am a fanatic when it comes to proper technique I start out beginners with military presses done on the smith machine or by using a shoulder specific machine. There are probably many different shoulder machines in your gym so take advantage of them. Machines will restrict your movement to a specific path.

This will "teach" you the proper pressing movement and give you the "right" feel for working out your shoulders. Machines are good but realize some of the older machines were made for the generic male. Thereby making their use awkward or impossible for use by us women.

Since I am on the topic of machines, I will interject my goal of eventually having my clients (whenever possible) to graduate to the use of free weights. As you progress in your workouts there will come a day that you will realize that one arm (bicep or triceps), or leg (quad or ham) is stronger than the other.

Some machines are designed in a way that allows the stronger arm or leg to compensate for its weaker friend. Whereas doing military presses using dumbbells will not allow for the weaker muscle to shriek responsibility.

Below you will find a listing of sexy shoulder shaping exercises and suggested sets and reps for the novice and intermediate lifter.

 
Weight = Ability to lift # of lbs per prescribed repetitions. So (12 x weight) should be interpreted as being able to lift a specific amount of weight 12 times.
 
 


Novice - (12 Week Sample Routine)

Military Press (smith machine or shoulder press machine)
Front Raises (using a straight barbell)
Side Raises (using a side shoulder raise machine)
Reverse Outs (performed on a pec deck machine - facing the back of the chair)

Routine - (Weeks 1 - 3)

Click Here For A Printable Log Of Novice - Weeks 1-3!

Routine - (Weeks 4 - 6)

  • Warm-up by stretching
  • Same as above but increase all weight by 5lbs

Click Here For A Printable Log Of Novice - Weeks 4-6!

Routine - (Weeks 7 - 10)

  • Warm-up by stretching
  • Military Press Smith Machine (3 sets: 12 x weight, 8 x weight 6 x weight)
  • Front Raises (3 sets: 12 x weight, 8 x weight, 6 x weight)
  • Side Raises (3 sets: 12 x weight, 8 x weight, 6 x weight)
  • Reverse Outs (3 sets: 12 x weight, 8 x weight, 6 x weight)

Click Here For A Printable Log Of Novice - Weeks 7-10!

Do you notice the difference in these weeks? Let's look to increase the weight lifted on the 2nd and 3rd sets for each exercise. The philosophy here being - lift heavy to build muscle volume.

Routine - (Weeks 11 - 12)

  • Warm-up by stretching
  • Military Press Smith Machine (4 sets: 12 x weight, 10 x weight 12 x weight, 10 x weight)
  • Front Raises (4 sets: 12 x weight, 10 x weight, 12 x weight, 10 x weight)
  • Side Raises (4 sets: 12 x weight, 10 x weight, 12 x weight, 10 x weight)
  • Reverse Outs (4 sets: 12 x weight, 10 x weight, 12 x weight, 10 x weight)

Click Here For A Printable Log Of Novice - Weeks 11-12!

Another significant change comes into play during weeks 11 & 12. We will add an additional set for each exercise and increase the amount of repetitions per sets. I like to call this the burn and etch phase.


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And that is exactly what you should feel while your working out, as if someone was setting fire to your shoulders and etching out sexy curves and lines. The true meaning of tattooing the word sexy onto your shoulders!


Intermediate - (12 Week Sample Routine)

The intermediate set of shoulder shaping exercises are designed for someone who has a least been exercising routinely for several months, has a good understanding of proper form and is capable to carry out the routine.

We can/will use the following exercises:

Dumbbell Presses
Front Dumbbell Raises
Side Dumbbell or Cable Raises
Bent Over Posterior Raises (cable)
Upright Rows (barbell or cable)
Military Press (machine)

Routine - (Weeks 1 - 4)

  • Warm-up by stretching
  • Dumbbell Press (3 Sets: 12 x weight, 8 x weight, 6 x weight)
  • Front DB Raise - Alternating arms (3 sets: 12 x weight, 10 x weight, 8 x weight)
  • Side DB Raise - Alternating arms (3 sets: 12 x weight, 10 x weight, 8 x weight)
  • Bent Over Posterior Raises (using cable) (3 sets: 12 x weight, 10 x weight, 8 x weight)
  • Upright Rows (cable) 3 sets: 12 x weight, 10 x weight, 8 x weight)
  • Military Press (machine - I like to use this as a "blasting" finishing exercise) 4 sets: 12 x weight, 12 x weight, 12 x weight, 12 x weight)

Click Here For A Printable Log Of Intermediate - Weeks 1-4!

Pay careful attention to the amount of weeks, sets and reps for each exercise. I like to mix heavy and light weight with low and high repetitions. I am in the process of writing an article on weight lifting philosophies that will explain this thinking and its purposes in greater detail.

Routine - (Weeks 5 - 8)

  • Warm-up by stretching
  • Dumbbell Press (4 Sets: 12 x weight, 8 x weight, 6 x weight, 6 x weight)
  • Front DB Raise - Alternating arms (4 sets: 12 x weight, 10 x weight, 8 x weight, 6 x weight)
  • Side DB Raise - Alternating arms (4 sets: 12 x weight, 10 x weight, 8 x weight, 6 x weight)
  • Bent Over Posterior Raises (using cable) (4 sets: 12 x weight, 10 x weight, 8 x weight, 6 x weight)
  • Upright Rows (cable) 4 sets: 12 x weight, 10 x weight, 8 x weight, 6 x weight)
  • Military Press (machine - I like to use this as a "blasting" finishing exercise) 4 sets: 12 x weight, 12 x weight, 12 x weight, 12 x weight)

Click Here For A Printable Log Of Intermediate - Weeks 5-8!

Routine - (Weeks 9 - 12)

  • Warm-up by stretching
  • Dumbbell Press (4 Sets: 12 x weight, 10 x weight, 8 x weight, 12 x weight)
  • Front DB Raise - Alternating arms (4 sets: 12 x weight, 10 x weight, 8 x weight, 12 x weight)
  • Side DB Raise - Alternating arms (4 sets: 12 x weight, 10 x weight, 8 x weight, 12 x weight)
  • Bent Over Posterior Raises (using cable) (4 sets: 12 x weight, 10 x weight, 8 x weight, 12 x weight)
  • Upright Rows (cable) 4 sets: 12 x weight, 10 x weight, 8 x weight, 12 x weight)
  • Military Press (machine - I like to use this as a "blasting" finishing exercise) 4 sets: 12 x weight, 12 x weight, 12 x weight, 12 x weight

Click Here For A Printable Log Of Intermediate - Weeks 9-12!

Make sure you keep a workout journal!


12 Week Daily Workout Log
The workout log is what you need to monitor your progress efficiently and effectively. Keeping track of your workout allows you to get the body you've been wanting in the fastest time possible.


Safety Tips

Safety Tip #1:

Leaning back: When the weight starts to get heavy, many of us have a tendency to lean back, in effect turning the exercise into an incline press with no back support. This reduces the effectiveness of the exercise as well as placing an unnecessary strain on the lower back.

Safety Tip #2:

Whenever you can, work out with a spotter. A spotter should be someone who has some knowledge and experience in "spotting" you during lifting. They would essentially become your safety net.

Combine exercise with a healthy diet. Know what you eat and how it impacts on your body. Stay away from sugars, excessive carbs and fats and drink plenty of water.


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I would love to hear your success stories, so be sure to keep me updated on your progress, goals and accomplishments. Send them to angela@angelafitnesserotica.com

Warning: Before starting any exercise program have a complete health assessment performed by your physician.