If your shoulder muscles aren't in good shape, you'll be very restricted as an athlete. Deltoid workouts are great way to increase your range of motion, build muscle and prevent injury.
Deltoid muscles comprise the lateral, anterior and posterior heads and connecting shoulder joint areas, including the trapezius muscle and the vulnerable rotator cuffs and shoulder blades. All of these areas are used for multidirectional upper-body movements.
Here are a pair of shoulder workouts to get you started.
- Perform dynamic shoulder warm-up movements pre-workout and static cooldown stretches post-workout.
- Hydrate before, during and after workouts.
- Rest 30 seconds between sets and to change weights and/or hydrate, and 60 seconds between exercises.
- Alternate shoulder workouts on non-consecutive days for adequate recovery.
- Moderately heavy med ball (80% RM)
- Two light dumbbells (50% RM) and two moderately heavy dumbbells (80% RM)
- Water bottle
- Exercise mat
Shoulder Workout 1
- Alternate Hand Med Ball Push-Ups. This is a good exercise for developing equal strength in your two shoulders. Assume Push-Up position and place one hand on the med ball and the other on the mat. Lower slowly in two seconds, pause at the bottom for one second and explode up in one second for 10 reps. Without rest, repeat for the other shoulder with other hand on the ball.
- Multidirectional Kneeling Ball Rollouts. All-in-one shoulder, upper-back and core-strengthening exercise. With both knees and feet on the mat and both hands atop the med ball, roll the ball forward as far as possible and back 10 times. Without rest, roll the ball diagonally right 5 times and diagonally left 5 times. Rest 30 seconds. Place your right hand on the ball, the other hand on the mat, and roll the ball laterally as far right as possible 5 times; repeat with your left hand rolling 5 times laterally left.
- Inchworms. Optimizes shoulder and upper- and lower-body flexibility and core strength. Assume push-up position and walk your feet in toward your arms. Walk your arms out to start position and continue 10 times.
- Isometric Wall Squats Holding Hands Overhead and Laterally. Assume a squat position with your back against a wall. (Optionally place a med ball between the wall and your back.) With your hands supinated (underhand), extend your arms overhead for 30 seconds, then extend your arms laterally at shoulder level for 30 seconds.
- Superman. Core and shoulder builder. Lie prone on the mat and simultaneously raise your arms (with hands in neutral position) and legs and hold for 30 seconds.
- Inverted Rows. Builds rear deltoid/upper-back muscles, biceps and core muscles. Place a barbell about waist high on a squat rack (make sure it's secure). Position yourself under the bar using a supine shoulder-width grip and extend your legs. Support your lower body with your heels and keep your back straight. Pull yourself up in one second until your chest nearly touches the bar, pause one second while squeezing shoulder blades together and lower slowly in three seconds. Repeat nine more times.
Shoulder Workout 2
- Walking Side Lunges with Explosive Ball Press-Outs. Lunge laterally left while simultaneously pressing the med ball away from your chest for 5 reps, then repeat lunging laterally right 5 times.
- Walking Forward Lunges with DB Upright Rows. With moderately heavy dumbbells held at your sides, lunge forward with your right leg while simultaneously raising the weights to chest level. Lower to the starting position. Continue alternating lunging with your left leg/Upright Row, then right, etc. for 10 reps.
- Single-Leg Squat with DB Lateral Raise. Hold light dumbbells laterally at shoulder level with a supine grip. Bend your arms slightly and lift your left foot off the floor. Squat and hold the position for 30 seconds. Without rest, repeat with your right foot off the floor. Combines balance, core stabilization, and upper- and lower-body strength.
- Step-Ups and Overhead Med Ball Presses. Place your right foot on a bench while holding a med ball at chin level. Simultaneously press the ball overhead and step up. Do 5 reps and repeat with your left foot on the bench.
- Single-Leg DB Pulls. Holding light dumbbells with a neutral grip, extend your arms forward at shoulder level. Lift your left foot off the floor, knees slightly bent. Pull the dumbbells to your shoulders and squeeze your shoulder blades together for one second. Return to start position and repeat.
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