As a Bikini athlete, body proportions play a decisive goal when I’m competing. I’m expected to present a feminine and athletic physique, with proper proportions between the upper and lower body. To achieve that goal, I have to pay close attention to my training plan and never overlook my upper body training, especially the shoulder exercises that I do.
Why should women include shoulder exercises in their gym routine?
Shoulders are important body structures not only because of their function but also because of their aesthetics. They are responsible for widening the torso at the top, making the lower part to look aesthetically and visually narrower.
Although most women prefer to focus on putting on more muscle mass on the lower part of the body, when it comes to symmetry, well-rounded and developed deltoids are also aesthetically beautiful and feminine. Moreover, they create an optical illusion that slims down the silhouette, making the waist seem well thinner.
7 shoulder exercises for women
These are my favorite shoulder exercises for sculpting the delts. I like training to failure, so I do 3 sets of each exercise with reps to failure in each set.
|Dumbell lateral raises||to failure||3|
|Neutral grip dumbbell shoulder press||to failure||3|
|Dumbbell front raises||to failure||3|
|Single plate front raises||to failure||3|
|Dumbbell Arnold||to failure||3|
|One-arm bent-over cable lateral raise||to failure||3|
|Reverse machine flyes||to failure||3|
Dumbbell lateral raises
Grab a pair of dumbbells with your palms facing inward and stand with the weights by your side at arm’s length. Raise your arms out to the sides, with a slight bend on the elbows, until they are shoulder level. Pause, then lower the weights back.
Neutral grip dumbbell shoulder press
Hold a dumbbell in each hand and raise them to shoulder height with your palms facing your head – neutral grip. Press the dumbbells upward until your arms are straight and the weights almost touch at the top. Pause, then lower the weights back to shoulder level.
Dumbbell front raises
Grab a pair of dumbbells in front of you, with your palms facing inward. Lift the dumbbells, with a slight bend on the elbows, until they are shoulder level. Pause, then lower the weights back to at your sides. You can also lift one dumbbell at the time.
Single plate front raises
Grab a plate with both hands and raise it up in front of you until it is slightly above shoulder level. Pause and slowly lower the plate back down.
Dumbbell Arnold press
Sit on a bench holding two dumbbells in front of you. With your palms facing your body, lift the dumbbells up to upper chest level – starting position. Raise the dumbbells in front of you while rotating the palms until they are facing away from your body. Continue the movement until your arms are extended above your head. Pause and then lower the weights, rotating the palms again as you get back to the starting position.
One-arm bent-over cable lateral raise
Set the weight, stand sideways to the pulley and grab the cable with the hand that is farther away. Bend down until your torso is almost parallel to the floor and grab the cable. Pull the cable to the side until your arm is parallel to the floor, keeping a slight bend at the elbow. Pause, then lower the cable back. Repeat with the other arm.
Reverse machine flyes
Adjust the handles of the fly machine so they are full to the rear and the seat so that your arms are at shoulder level. Grab the handles with your palms facing inward. Contract your rear delts and pull your arms to the side and back, keeping a slight bend at the elbows. Pause then get back to the starting position.