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Sculpt your shoulders for summer

Friday, June 07, 2013 by: Sarka-Jonae Miller

If you haven't pulled out your summer wardrobe yet you will soon. That means bathing suits, tank tops, and sleeveless dresses for the ladies. The heat drives men to roll up their sleeves, put on a tank, or just take off their shirts. A summer wardrobe means baring your shoulders to the world, making this the perfect time to sculpt your shoulders with deltoid exercises. The deltoids are the smallest major muscle group and don't always get the attention they deserve from weight training programs. Use this summer exercise routine for sexy shoulders.

Dumbbell front raises

Dumbbell front raises sculpt the front shoulders, known as the anterior or front deltoids. The motion of this exercise is very simple but don't let that fool you. This exercise will fatigue the shoulders quickly, especially if you don't do shoulder exercises regularly.

Grasp a pair of dumbbells and stand up tall. With your arms straight and the weights resting against your thighs, step your feet hip width apart and bend your knees to get into a firm stance. Next, raise your arms straight upward until they are above shoulder level. Slowly lower your arms back to your legs to complete one dumbbell front raise. Select weights light enough so that you can complete 10 to 12 reps.

Dumbbell lateral raises

Dumbbell lateral raises sculpt the side shoulders, known as the lateral or medial deltoids. Just like how raising your arms forward targets the front of the shoulders, raising your arms to your sides works the sides of the shoulders.

Grip a dumbbell in each hand and stand tall with your arms against your sides. Use the same sturdy stance for this exercise that you used for the front raises. Raise your arms up and out to your sides until they are parallel to the floor. Slowly lower the arms back to your sides to complete one dumbbell lateral raise. Do 10 to 12 reps.

Barbell rear deltoids rows

Hitting the back part of the shoulders is not as simple as the front and sides because the arms don't swing backwards the same way they can do forwards or to the sides. An exercise called barbell rear deltoid rows sculpt the back of the shoulders, also known as the rear or posterior deltoids.

To do a barbell rear deltoids row, hold a barbell with your hands shoulder width apart in front of you with your arms straight and against the front of your body. Step your feet shoulder width apart and bend forward at the hips. Let the barbell hang toward the floor and in line with your chest. Pull the barbell up toward your chest. Your elbows should bend and flair out to the sides. This is different from a row that targets your back where your arms stay near your torso. Lower the weight toward the floor until your arms are straight again. This completes one barbell rear deltoids row. Do 10 to 12 reps.

After finishing all three exercises, take a short break and then repeat. Work up to three or four sets. Because the deltoids are a small muscle group and they assist with other activities you need only do a shoulder workout twice a week to see results. Add these three exercises onto existing workouts or do them as a mini workout independently. Either way, you'll see sexier shoulders quickly, just in time for pool parties, trips to the beach, and days when it is too hot for sleeves.

Sources for this article include:

About the author:
Sarka-Jonae Miller is a personal trainer, massage therapist, novelist, and blogger. Get more health and wellness tips on Sarka's Natural Healing Tips blog,
Facebook page, or Twitter.

Sarka's debut novel, "Between Boyfriends," recently appeared on three Amazon best seller lists, including Comic Fiction, Humorous Fiction, and Women's Fiction. It peaked at #3 on the first two lists. The novel is available on Amazon worldwide. This is the second time in two months "Between Boyfriends" appeared in the top 10.

East County Magazine calls it the "ultimate chick-lit read." The Rancho Santa Fe Review newspaper says, "Over the course of the book, Jan, who is in her early 20s, begins to grow as a person and even strikes up a true friendship with a man, a first for her." Read a free sample on Amazon.

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