It’s only April, and the temp around country has been soaring way above the normal highs. Without jackets or sweaters or long sleeves to cover us up, our arms and shoulders are out for all to see. Perhaps you slacked off a little over the winter, or possibly you’ve avoided shoulder exercises because you’re afraid you might look bulky. Either real way, you won’t look good if your shoulder blades are stooped.

Brad Schoenfeld, MS, CSCS, a fitness trainer in Scarsdale, N.Y. When you have nice hands Even, well-developed shoulders supply the illusion of the smaller waistline, like built-in make pads. Bathing suits, strapless dresses, container tops, or one-shoulder styles; well-sculpted shoulders make them all look and better feel. The deltoid is the biggest and most noticeable of the shoulder muscles.

It’s essentially three muscles in a single, comprising a front side (anterior), middle (lateral), and rear (posterior) head. The heads function collectively for more complex techniques as an overhead press but work more in some techniques individually. Though it’s impossible to totally isolate any single muscle, I find there is less stress on my shoulder joints after I try to shift the emphasis in one head to another, focusing on the front, mid, and rear separately. The anterior deltoid increases the upper arm to leading of your system, the center deltoid boosts it to the relative side, and the rear deltoid moves the top arm backward. The key to sculpting your shoulders is good form and workable resistance.

If the weight is so heavy that form is sacrificed, you will just leave yourself available to injury. The shoulder exercises I love to use when “shaping” are basically modified versions of standard shoulder exercises. I also like working my shoulders unilaterally to avoid stress on my throat and back. The first exercise combines a front raise with a side raise. Initially, I would raise both arms to the front at the same time and to the relative side together.

By performing a front increase with one arm while performing a side increase with the other, I’m in a position to keep my form better and put less stress on my throat and back again. I learned this from my friend Val Cottone. Hold a dumbbell in your left hand with hands turned toward the front of your body. Slowly lift the right weight to the side, and the remaining weight to the front, until they may be slightly higher than –shoulder level.

Lower the weights with a smooth, controlled motion. Repeat for 10-12 reps, then switch. This right time bringing the remaining weight to the side and the right weight ahead. Another exercise works the mid-and front delts. Stand bent forward with a weight in one hand slightly, arm in an arc with the palm towards body.

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Lift elbow up to just to make level. Lower in arc slowly. Repeat for 10-12 reps. This exercise works the posterior (Rear) cells and can be done bi-laterally or unilaterally. Sit sideways on the bench with foot on the floor and a dumbbell in each hand.Bend, keeping torso and appearance down at the floor straight. Having a dumbbell in each hand as well as your arms extended toward the floor, bring arms up in a wide arc.

Concentrate on keeping your upper arms in line with your shoulders, and lifting with your rear delts, not your top or middle back just like a row. The upright row works your front (anterior) cells and can be carried out unilaterally or bi-laterally. Grasp a dumbbell in each tactile hands with an overhand grip with hands somewhat more than shoulder width apart. Pull the weight(s) up to chest level, keeping the weight(s) as near to your body as it can be. For the right position, imagine “strings mounted on each elbow tugging them toward the roof. Pause and squeeze near the top of the movement, lower and do it again.