By Monika Tarkowska-Carter, CPT, LWMC, HLC 2
This video shows how you can take very simple shoulder exercises with dumbbells and make them more challenging by incorporating a lot of the core muscles, and in some cases also working on balance. This way you will get a more overall workout, and burn more calories at the same time by using more muscle groups. Therefore, this kind of training is very beneficial in weight loss programs or when time available to work out is an issue.
I would not recommend doing any overhead exercises if you have neck issues of either known or unknown origin. You have to be able to stabilize your spine, and especially the cervical part of it, correctly, before you can attempt lifting any weight overhead. You should also have a fairly good core control to be able to protect your lower back from overarching while extending your arms overhead under load.
Please, do a 5-10 minute warm-up before starting any exercises.
If you are a beginner start with very light weight, let’s say 5 lbs for women and 8-12 lbs for men, and work on the form first, before increasing the weight. Start with 1 set of 12 repetitions and go up to 15-20, depending on what you can comfortably tolerate. Always make sure you can do 15-20 reps with a lighter weight before you start lifting a heavier one. Proper control and form is paramount in these exercises. All of them are done slowly but with very little (30 seconds) or no rest in between the exercises. Make sure these exercises are done as part of your routine and alternate each one with an exercise for a different muscle group. You could do a back exercise, followed by one of the shoulder exercises, followed by a bicep exercise. Don’t do them all in a row. These are just variations. Try to work up to 2-3 sets of 12-20 repetitions.
These are great exercises if your goal is general fitness, weight loss or toning. They can sculpt your muscles beautifully, giving them nice definition. They are NOT the best for increasing strength or hypertrophy as exercises for this purpose should be done in a more stable environment and with considerably heavier weights.
Please, always consult your physician before beginning any exercise program.