The shoulders are not usually a part of the body that people focus on when trying to lose weight or tone up, but having shapely shoulders can do wonders for your overall physique. Try this shoulder workout to sculpt and tone.

shoulder workout

Shoulder Workout

Seated Military Press

The military press, otherwise known as the overhead press or strict press, is the flagship shoulder exercise as it is a compound movement working all parts of your shoulders and as such will feature as the first exercise in any good shoulder workout. This variation on a classic will take the burn to the next level and will really test your limits. Your shoulders are completely isolated so there's nowhere to hide and no way to get away from the burn.

How to perform

If you have a partner to hand you the bar, you can do this exercise anywhere. If you are on your own, you will need to sit under a weights rack so that you can rest the bar above you.

  1. Sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you and your back straight. 
  2. Hold the bar close to your chest at chin height with both hands.
  3. As you exhale, push the bar up above your head until your arms are straight.
  4. As you inhale, slowly and with control lower the bar back down to chin height. That's 1 rep. Try to complete 10-12. 

Because you are sitting on the floor, your legs and core will not be able to assist your shoulders and as such this is a completely isolating exercise, highlighting all weakness and really resting your strength. Start with a light weight until you increase your strength. It's meant to be tough!

Leaning Dumbbell Raise

This is a single-arm exercise which will target the deltoids and give shape and tone to the sides of your shoulders. Again, it is a highly isolating exercise and so will burn intensely but give great results.

How to perform

You will need to find something sturdy capable of holding your full weight that you can hold and lean away from. Any equipment bolted to the wall of the gym should work for this. 

  1. Hold something study with one hand, with your feet together and close to the structure, lean your body until your arm is straight.
  2. With a dumbbell in the other hand, raise your arm from your side to shoulder height and back down again. That's 1 rep. Complete 10 on each arm.
  3. Complete all your reps on one arm before changing to the other.

Front Raise With Steering Wheel

You may well have done front raises at the gym before as they are very simple, easy to do, and yield great results. That's why we are taking it to another level by adding the 'steering wheel' movement to ramp up the burn. Take this exercise slowly to maximise results.

How to perform

  1. Stand up straight with your feet hip width apart and hold a plate like a steering wheel with both hands in front of you. 
  2. Slowly lift the plate up until it reaches shoulder height.
  3. Hold the plate there and twist it slowly like you would a steering wheel.
  4. After a few twists, slowly lower the plate back down again. That's 1 rep. Try for 10-12.