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05 October 2009

Broader appeal

Follow these exercises to bolster your shoulders to top off the perfect body.

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Bolster your shoulders to top off the perfect body. BY MYATT MURPHY

THREE THINGS YOU DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOUR SHOULDERS

  • The last place your body deposits fat is in the shoulder, making it one of the easiest muscles to define. If your shoulders still don’t pop after using the workouts, take it as a sign that you need to focus more on fat loss.
  • You may feel tight now but you were born with tremendous shoulder flexibility. Unlike the hip joint, which is anatomically similar to the shoulder, the shoulder socket is extremely shallow. This allows the arm to move freely in all directions. Do arm circles before your workout and stretch afterwards to maintain your range of motion.
  • The shoulder is the most unstable joint in your body. As a result, weight-room mishaps are commonplace. Protect yourself by refining your bench-press technique – poor form causes more shoulder injuries than any move. To stave off trouble, keep your shoulder blades back and down as you raise and lower the weight.

1. PUSH PRESS
Stand holding a barbell with an overhand grip, resting it on the front of your shoulders. Keep your elbows tucked in. Dip down about 15cm, then drive yourself up with your legs as you push the weight overhead. Return to the starting position.

2. DUMBBELL SHOULDER PRESS
Stand holding a dumbbell in each hand just above your shoulders with a neutral grip (palms facing each other). Press the weights straight up until your arms are fully extended, then slowly lower the weights to the starting position.

3. BARBELL HIGH-INCLINE BENCH PRESS
Lie face up on a bench set at an incline of 65 to 80 degrees. Hold a barbell over your chest with straight arms, your hands slightly more than shoulder-width apart. Slowly lower the bar to your chest. Press the weight back up to the starting position.

4. ACCELERATED SIDE RAISE
Stand holding a pair of light dumbbells at your sides. Raise the dumbbells out to your sides. When the weights are about 30cm away from your body, increase your lifting speed. Pause when the weights reach ear level, then return to the starting position.

5. CABLE SINGLE-ARM SIDE RAISE
Attach a handle to the low-pulley cable and stand with your left side to the weight stack. Reach across your body with your right hand to grab the handle. Raise your arm up and across your body until it’s parallel to the floor, then return to the starting position.

6. CABLE REVERSE FLY
Stand between the weight stacks with your arms crossed in front of you, and grab a handle from each low pulley. Bend forwards at the waist until your torso is almost parallel to the floor, arms beneath your shoulders. Pull your shoulder blades back, then raise your arms out to your sides. Lower and repeat.

7. DUMBBELL FRONT RAISE
Stand holding a pair of light dumbells at arm’s length with a neutral grip. Keeping your arms straight, slowly raise the weights in front of you until your arms are parallel to the floor. Pause, then slowly lower the weights.

8. DUMBBELL CUBAN PRESS
Stand holding a pair of light dumbbells in front of your thighs with an overhand grip. Draw the weights up in front of your body, keeping the weights close to your torso and bending your elbows, until your upper arms are parallel to the floor. Without moving your upper arms or elbows, rotate your forearms until they point up, then press the weight overhead. Slowly reverse the path to the starting position.

For more fitness, sex and nutrition stories visit Men’s Health

Myatt Murphy, is the author of The Body You Want in the Time You Have and Ultimate Dumbbell Guide , and co-author of The Men's Health Gym Bible.

Read more:
Weight training for Men

 
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