Shoulder-strengthening exercises are easily done at home.
Strong, well-defined shoulders can prevent injuries, improve your athletic performance and help you look better in sleeveless tops. Fortunately, the shoulders are one of the last places where fat is stored. This means that targeted exercises can easily make them defined. For optimal results, work all three heads of the deltoids -- the anterior (front); lateral (side); and posterior (back). There's no excuse not to work your shoulders because you can do the exercises right at home.
Incorporate Dumbbell-Raise Exercises
As part of your workout, dumbbell raises can target all three heads of your deltoids. To do front raises, hold the dumbbells horizontally in front of your upper thighs and raise them forward and up until they're at a 135-degree angle. Then lower them back to the starting point. This targets the front of your shoulders. To perform lateral raises -- which target the sides of your shoulders -- raise the dumbbells out to your sides. When your elbows are next to your shoulders, return to the starting point. To target the back of your delts, bend about 90-degrees forward from your hips, extend your arms down and then raise the dumbbells out to your sides, bringing your elbows directly next to your shoulders before returning to the starting position.
Perform Overhead Dumbbell Presses
Overhead presses mainly work your front deltoids and also engage your side deltoids. Doing this exercise while standing upright challenges your core to stabilize your body. Doing overhead presses while sitting on a chair makes the exercise easier. To do overhead presses, hold a dumbbell in each hand at the sides of your shoulders. Then, press the weight up and extend your arms. After one count, lower them back to the starting point.
Include Upright Rows
Upright rows target the sides of your shoulders and also engage the front. To begin this exercise, hold a set of dumbbells in front of your upper thighs with an overhand grip. Then, bend your elbows out and pull the weights up toward your chin, keeping the weights close to your body. When your wrists are in front of your shoulders, slowly lower the dumbbells back to the starting point. Avoid pointing your elbows forward but do flex your wrists at the top of the exercise.
If you don't have dumbbells, use food cans, water bottles or exercise bands for resistance. Before starting shoulder exercises, jog in place, jump rope or do jumping jacks to warm up your body. Then specifically warm up your shoulders; roll them forward and back and do arm circles. Use weights that allow you to do no more than eight repetitions, and once you can do 12 reps with them, increase the weight slightly. Perform at least two sets per exercise, and consult a doctor before starting a shoulder-strengthening routine, especially if you have an injury or medical condition.