Sleek 'n sexy shoulders!

"Just don't give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there's love and inspiration, I don't think you can go wrong."
- Ella Fitzgerald, 1917-1996, Jazz Singer

Everyone close your books - we’re going to start with a brief quiz. What’s one of the of the best muscle groups to focus on to create the look of a smaller waist? Abdominals? Obliques (love handles)? Nope! Not even close - it’s the shoulders.

Well-sculpted shoulders not only create an image of beauty but they also have the added advantage of creating the magical illusion of making the waist appear smaller. I knew that would get your attention! I'm not talking about hours and hours of tough workouts, nor am I suggesting adding six inches to your shoulder width. I’m not trying to turn you into the Incredible Hulk!

The goal is to create beautiful, tight-looking shoulders that look great from all angles and that appear slightly round at the outer portion. This slight enhancement will actually make your waist look smaller and make your body look more in balance.

This special workout will focus on each area of the shoulder in order to give you a sexy and tight looking appearance. You may be looking for the miracle butt blasting exercise or the latest and greatest leg thinning movements, but my goal is to provide exercises that create proper proportion and symmetry.

You may be aware from my previous articles that I always focus on different areas of the body in order to achieve the best possible look - this will make you look sleek all over.

You can get a tighter look by simply working the shoulders twice a week for about 10 minutes. Yep, that's it!

Just remember to follow my set/time/repetition instructions as they are critical to your progress.

1. Dumbbell Two Arm Lateral Raise
Starting Position:
• Stand with feet shoulder-width apart with a slight bend in your knees.
• Hold a dumbbell or cans in each hand with your arms down at your sides and palms facing your legs.

Movement:
• Contracting the middle shoulder muscles, raise both arms out to the sides, stopping when your arms are slightly higher than shoulder level.
• Slowly return to the starting position, stopping just short of the weights touching your body.

Key Points:
• Exhale while lifting the weights.
• Inhale while returning to the starting position.
• You may also perform this exercise from a seated position.

2. Fitball Dumbbell Shoulder Press
Starting Position:
• Holding dumbbells or cans, sit on the ball or on a chair or bench with feet flat on the floor.
• The upper arm should be parallel with the floor with a 90 degree angle at the elbows.

Movement:
• Contracting the shoulder muscles, raise the weights toward the ceiling, stopping when the arms are fully extended with a slight bend in the elbows.
• Slowly return to the starting position.

Key Points:
• Exhale while lifting the weights.
• Inhale while returning to the starting position.

3. Dumbbell Bent Over Rear Shoulder Raise
Starting Position:
• Sit on a bench or chair and bend forward to a 45 degree angle.
• Hold a dumbbell or cans in each hand with your arms hanging at your sides and the palms facing one another.
• Pull your shoulders back and lift your chest up.

Movement:
• Contracting the rear shoulder muscles, lift your arms out to the sides until they are at shoulder height.
• Slowly return to the starting position, stopping just short of your arms touching your legs.

Key Points:
• Exhale while lifting the weights.
• Inhale while returning to the starting position.
• If your arms gravitate forward or backward, you will not be isolating the rear shoulder muscles.
• Do not round your upper back or shoulders.
• Do not allow your chest to cave in.

FREQUENCY:
If you’re a beginner, perform each movement slowly and at your own pace. Try for 10-12 repetitions on each exercise and take your time moving from one exercise to the next. Perform only two sets of each movement on two alternate days per week. For those with more experience, perform three compound sets (all three movements, one right after the other with no rest in between exercises) for 10-12 repetitions. Wait 90 seconds after the last exercise and then repeat two additional times. Perform this routine on two alternate days of the week.

Remember, work at your own personal fitness level and focus on perfect form to avoid injury and to isolate the muscle.

Now you have a better understanding of the shoulders, and also the most efficient exercises to work the specific areas.

Don’t forget, the ultimate key to a toned and tight body is the combination of proper nutrition, exercise and consistency. As always, check with your doctor prior to beginning any exercise programme.

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Thanks to tescodiets.com who have provided this article.