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Shoulders and Arms Workout with Dumbbells

 
 

Today, we are focusing on building some beautiful sculpted shoulders and tight, toned arms. I'll be honest, shoulder training has always been my favorite. I love hitting them hard and being able to confidently rock a sleeveless top. 

So today we are taking the basics and spicing them up a bit with supersets, as well as single arm and slow negative variations for an added intensity challenge.

Woohoo! Get ready, girl. This one's going to be fun!

 

The Equipment

1-2 pairs of dumbbells should be sufficient for this workout. 

The best way to pick your weights is to apply the 2 rep rule to your lifts. The 2 rep rule states that the weight selected should allow you to complete the whole set with good form and still feel like you have 2 reps left in the tank if you hypothetically HAD to complete 2 more.

If you feel like you could pump out 10 more reps at the end of the set, you should select heavier weights. If you are failing on the last rep of every set or barely making it through all of the reps, you should select a lighter weight. 

Exercise Terms to Know

  • Superset: Perform 2 exercises one after the other without rest in between. That's one set. You may rest only after completion of the full set.
  • Negatives: The portion of a movement during which you’re moving in the same direction as the resistance (usually in the same direction as gravity) 
    • Example: lowering yourself when performing a squat, lowering the weight back to the starting position during a bicep curl
    • If an exercise calls for a slow negative you’re just going to slow down the speed at which you perform this part of the movement. 
  • 3:1 Tempo: Tempo instructions indicate how much time it should take you to perform each part of the movement.
    • The format is
      • Eccentric Movement : Concentric Movement
      • AKA the negative / lengthening of the muscle : the shortening of the muscle
    • Example: 4:1 Tempo for a squat means that you will perform the eccentric movement, which is the lowering into the squat for 4 seconds. You will perform the concentric movement which is pushing yourself back up to the starting position in just 1 second. 

These are great terms/strategies to apply not just to this workout but to your future workouts to create higher intensity and prevent adaptation of the muscles to your routine. 

The Workout

  1. Lateral Raise with Palms Backward, Inward, and Forward (4x10)
  2. Single Arm Alternating Upright Row superset with Upright Row (4x12 each)
  3. Lateral Raises with Slow Negative (4 seconds) superset with Bent Arm Lateral Raises (4x10 each)
  4. Bent Over Lateral Raises (4x12)
  5. Alternating Arm Hammer Curl (4x12)
  6. Skull Crushers (3:1 Tempo) (4x12)

Exercise Instructions

Lateral Raise with Palms Backward, Inward, and Forward

  1. Stand with your back straight, feet shoulder width apart, while holding a dumbbell in each hand with a neutral grip. Hold your arms fully extended by your side, with your palms facing in to your body. Keep your elbows close to your sides. This is the start position.
  2. Keeping your arms fully extended and your torso stationary, lift the dumbbells out to your sides and up, twisting your wrists so your palms face backward, until the dumbbells are at shoulder level. Exhale as you do so.
  3. Hold for a count of one while squeezing your shoulder muscles.
  4. Return to the start position in a smooth controlled movement inhaling as you do so.
  5. Repeat with palms facing inward.
  6. Repeat with palms facing forward. 

Single Arm Alternating Upright Row

  1. Holding a dumbbell in each hand, stand with your feet shoulder width apart.
  2. The dumbbells should be resting on your thighs with your palms facing in.
  3. Lift one of the dumbbells straight up in a single smooth movement until it is just below your chin making sure to keep your shoulders back and your elbows out.
  4. Hold for a count of one.
  5. Return to the starting position slowly to keep tension on the muscles.
  6. Repeat with the other side. One rep is 1 performance of the movement on each side.

Upright Row 

  1. Holding a dumbbell in each hand, stand with your feet shoulder width apart.
  2. The dumbbells should be resting on your thighs with your palms facing in.
  3. Lift the dumbbells straight up in a single smooth movement until they are just below your chin making sure to keep your shoulders back and your elbows out.
  4. Hold for a count of one.
  5. Return to the starting position slowly to keep tension on the muscles.
  6. Repeat.

Lateral Raises with Slow Negative (4 seconds)

  1. Stand with your back straight, feet shoulder width apart, while holding a dumbbell in each hand with a neutral grip. Hold your arms fully extended by your side, with your palms facing in to your body. Keep your elbows close to your sides. This is the start position.
  2. Keeping your arms fully extended and your torso stationary, lift the dumbbells out to your sides and up until they are at shoulder level. Exhale as you do so.
  3. Hold for a count of one while squeezing your shoulder muscles.
  4. Return to the start position in a smooth controlled movement inhaling as you do so. The return should be slow (4 seconds.)
  5. Repeat.

Bent Arm Lateral Raises 

  1. Hold a pair of dumbbells with a neutral grip. Bend your arms to create 90 degree angles with your forearms in front of your body.
  2. Maintaining the 90 degree angle in your arms, lift your arms out to your sides until the dumbbells are level with your shoulders.
  3. Pause and then slowly return to the starting position.

Bent Over Lateral Raises 

  1. Begin by holding a pair of dumbbells and standing with a braced core. Bend at the knees slightly and lean forward from the hips. Maintain a flat back throughout.
  2. Keeping your elbows slightly bent throughout the movement, lift the dumbbells up and out to the side. Be sure to focus the contraction in the back of the shoulders.
  3. Pause at the top of the movement then slowly bring the dumbbells to the starting position.

Alternating Arm Hammer Curl 

  1. Stand upright, holding a dumbbell in each hand, arms hanging at your sides and your palms inwards.
  2. Curl the weight in one hand towards the shoulder in a circular motion.
  3. Squeeze the bicep at the end of the lift and slowly lower.
  4. Alternate hands and repeat. Keep you body still, elbows locked and palms faced inwards throughout the whole exercise.

Skull Crushers (3:1 Tempo) 

  1. Lie on an exercise mat, holding the dumbbells in front of your forehead with elbows bent, feet flat on the floor.
  2. Press the dumbbells up until your arms are straight. This part of the movement should be fast (1 second.)
  3. Lower the dumbbells returning to starting position. This part of the movement should be slow (3 seconds.)
  4. Repeat.

Want the right game plan and personal accountability to reach your fitness goals?

I've been helping women just like you build muscle, lose fat, and improve their metabolism with an easy to follow flexible diet and FUN training routine. 

If you're ready to say HECK YES to changing your health, your body, and your life, APPLY HERE for 1 on 1 coaching. I will be there to coach you every step of the way so we can get you better, lasting results. 

Not convinced? Check out some of these amazing success stories from women JUST LIKE YOU. If you're sitting there telling yourself you're too old, too far off, too busy, or too tired, STOP RIGHT NOW.

You can do this no matter where you're at in life. Don't hold yourself back from the quality of life you CAN and WILL have if you take the leap. 

No more waiting for the perfect time. There will never be a perfect moment. The time to make a change is always RIGHT NOW! Let me show you what you can do. 

To Your Good Health & Success,

 

 

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