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Overlooked Arms — By Kelley, Our Trainer

February 8th, 2010 1 Comment

The muscle I obsess most over is my shoulders… I feel like an amazing shoulder is the key to a great arm!  Not only does a well-defined shoulder separate the bicep and tricep and make the whole arm harmoniously balanced, but we all know  a well structured upper body always makes the lower end appear smaller!  Here are some great moves to get the shoulders to pop:

Shoulder Press: This is a staple exercise: start with the weights at 90 degrees, pushing them up and together.   Try for a weight that only allows 10-15 reps before failure. *Avoid this exercise for those of you with low back issues.

  • Start with an athletic stance with soft knees
    Elbows at 90 degrees
    Core engaged: belly button to spine
  • Finish by pushing the weight overhead keeping your core engaged and your shoulders “anchored” away from your ears.

Heavy Lateral Raise (straight-arm):  Pick a weight above 10lbs.  Arms are straight, hanging by your sides.  Imagine you are standing between two brick walls that you are trying to push down with the backs of your hands.  The weights will not, and should not reach the top of the movement.  10-15 reps to failure.

  • Keep your shoulders “anchored” (i.e. don’t let them pop up toward your ears
  • Neutral wrist (i.e. don’t let the wrist break back)

Light Lateral Raise (Straight Arm): Pick a light weight that will allow you to fully extend both arms to the top of the movement (3-5lbs.). Burn the middle of the shoulder out with this weight. Try for 20-25 reps. (see pic for Heavy Lateral)

Rear Deltoids (Delts): Don’t forget about the back of the shoulders.  In a bent over position, with a light weight, extend the arm out to the sides of the body (pinky finger to the ceiling).

  • Starting position:
    -Foot extends back far enough that you are able to establish a neutral spine (flat back).
  • Ending position:
    -Keep your shoulders “anchored” or pulled away from your ears.
    -Keep your core engaged or your belly button pulled into your spine.

Try these four exercises in a row with short rests between sets (1 minute).

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  • Thanks for these great tips Kelley, I know my arms often get neglected so my upper body strength is not so great.

    I’m going to try this out in the mirror tomorrow at the gym ; ) Thanks!