HUGO RIVERA is an ISSA Certified Personal Trainer, engineer and international best selling fitness author with over 20 years of bodybuilding experience. He is also the New York Times About.com Guide to Bodybuilding and continues to educate others on how to use bodybuilding in order to achieve their goals. Hugo is the author of Hardgainers’ Bodybuilding Handbook as well as the co-author of the best selling Body Sculpting Bible for Men and Body Sculpting Bible for Women.
JAMES VILLEPIGUE is a bestselling fitness author of 23 books and has over 20 years of experience in the health and fitness industry. as a nationally certified personal trainer with National Strength & Conditioning Association (NSCA), with their prestigious Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) credential, The American Council on Exercise and The International Sports Science Association. He has received degrees from Hofstra University, the New York College of Health Professions, and the Institute for Professional Empowerment Coaching. He now lives in East North Port, New York. He is the author of Combat Fat for Kids and Mind Over Muscle as well as the co-author of the best selling Body Sculpting Bible for Men and Body Sculpting Bible for Women.
The shoulder is our most versatile joint. There is no other joint that can lift up, down, forward, backward, rotate left and right, or throw. The only joint in our body built similarly is the hip. But with the shoulder’s versatility comes its weakness. It is commonly injured due to tendonitis, ligament pulls, bursitis, dislocations, separations, and rotator cuff injuries. If you have had any of these injuries in the past or you want to help prevent shoulder injuries in the future, try the Light Weight Shoulder Workout below.
This workout is actually one used by many physical therapists and requires ONLY light weights – in fact no heavier than FIVE pound dumbbells is recommended. Start by using no weights at all and only lift “the air”. You will find that the air gets heavy on these small muscles of the shoulder. But these are the muscles that no one exercises. Most people will lift too heavy amounts of weight over their head and cause an injury mainly due to lack of stabilization of the shoulder joint. By exercise all of the muscles in the shoulder as with the Light Weight Shoulder Workout, you will build the balance needed in the shoulder to help prevent injuries and build nice, tone shoulders and arms. Try it below and see for yourself:
The Light Weight Shoulder Workout (with dumbbells)
Do the following sequence of exercises non-stop for ten reps each:
LATERAL RAISE A safe and effective shoulder exercise with light weights. Over 5 pound dumbbells is not recommended for this exercise. Keep your knees slightly bent, shoulder back, and your chest high. Lift weights parallel to ground in a smooth controlled motion, keep your palms facing the ground. Follow the next 5 exercises without stopping.
THUMBS UP After performing 10 regular lateral raises, do 10 lateral raises with your thumbs up, touching your hips with your palms facing away from you and raising your arms no higher than shoulder height.
THUMBS DOWN Continue with side lateral raises. As you lift your arms upward, keep your thumbs down. Repeat for 10 times, always leading in the up and down direction with your thumbs.
FRONT RAISE (THUMBS UP) Now, for 10 more repetitions, time to work your front deltoids. Lift the dumbbells from your waist to shoulder height keeping your thumbs up.
CROSS OVERS With your palms facing away from you and arms relaxed in front of your hips, bring your arms up and over your head as if you were doing a jumping jack (without jumping). Cross your arms IN FRONT of your head and bring them back to your hips for 10 repetitions.
MILITARY PRESS Place one foot ahead of the other as shown and knees slightly bent to reduce strain on your lower back. Exhale as you push the weights over your head for 10 final repetitions in the mega-shoulder pump workout.. Slowly lower them to shoulder height and repeat. Muscles used are shoulders and triceps (back of arm).
Do this routine during any upper-body day workout.
STUART FISCHER, M.D., a graduate of Yale University, completed his residency at Maimonides Hospital in Brooklyn, and served as an Attending Physician at Cabrini Medical Center in New York City. He also worked with the late Dr. Robert Atkins as the Associate Medical Director of the Atkins Center. His expertise in alternative medicine, nutrition, and weight loss, is complemented by his strong traditional, hospital-based education. He is the author of The Little Book of Big Medical Emergencies and The Park Avenue Diet.