Summer is in full swing, and it’s become clear that one of the biggest trends for this sun-filled season is cutout sleeves. Translation: Shoulders are going to be on the scene this summer. Though celebrity trainer Gunnar Peterson argues that they never left: “Shoulders have always been in style,” he says. “They are like the little black dress of the upper body.”
Whether new fad or old hat, it’s time to give yours a little extra love, so they’ll be strong, sculpted, and ready to show off during the these dog days and beyond. To do that, you have to work them from all angles. “The shoulder has three heads: the anterior, medial, and posterior head,” explains Peterson, who is the director of training and endurance for the Los Angeles Lakers. “You have to train all three.” He also notes that the leaner you are, the more muscle separation you’ll show.
Follow along with Peterson’s four-move shoulder circuit in the video above, and you’ll be reaching for those tank tops in no time.
Stand with feet hip-width apart and a dumbbell in each hand at thighs; palms face back. Raise dumbbells straight up to eyebrow height, keeping arms straight. Slowly lower back to start and then repeat.
Stand with feet hip-width apart and a dumbbell in each hand at sides; palms face in. Maintaining a slight bend in elbows, raise arms straight out to sides to shoulder level. Slowly lower back to start and then repeat.
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Rear Deltoid Raise
Stand with feet hip-width apart, knees soft, and a dumbbell in each hand at sides; palms face in with a slight bend in wrists. Hinge forward at hips and lower down so that torso is almost parallel to floor. Keeping a slight bend in arms and back flat, raise arms out to sides until they are in line with body, and squeeze shoulder blades together. Slowly lower back to start and then repeat.
Stand with feet hip-width apart, a slight bend in knees and wrists at shoulder-height and a dumbbell in each hand; palms face forward. Press dumbbells directly overhead. Pause, and then slowly lower back down, and repeat.
Peterson’s Tip: “If you start to fail—you can’t do the move properly and your form is compromised—and you are in the 5, 6, 7 rep range, lighten up the weight. If you are cranking out 15 reps and are still fresh as a daisy at the end, add some weight. You want to get to where you are reaching technical failure between 12 and 15 reps.”