I wake to the chime of my iPhone alarm. It’s 4:40 am. I hit the snooze and contemplate my day. Do I have to get out of bed at this God-awful hour or can stay sleeping a little longer. But I know immediately getting up now is my only option if I want to get a workout in today. I have a flight to Seattle out of Oakland at 9am, and I have to get there from South San Francisco with rush hour traffic and return a rental car. I have a day full of meetings and a happy hour on my calendar, so not only is this my only time to work out, but I have run out of time to lie here contemplating it any longer.
A short workout is not an ineffective workout, and I can get a lot accomplished in 45-50 minutes. This morning I’m focusing on my shoulders. I love defined shoulders on men and woman. I get complimented on my arms all the time, and mostly by men. I think a lot of woman still think they shouldn’t lift heavy because they will “bulk up”. It’s not only a myth, but lifting heavy is the fastest way to getting defined, beautiful shoulders, and I promise women, you will not bulk without serious supplemental help.
But, for those of you that don’t believe me or aren’t ready to lift heavy, this work is for you. It incorporates both volume and strength with a focus on the obliques for the super sets. This workout is focused on building and toning the shoulder complex. Enjoy!
Shoulder and Oblique Workout
I’m short on time so my warm up is shorter too. I start with a 10 minute warm up on the elliptical, but I increase my intensity a bit.
For the weight routine, perform the first exercise followed by the second exercise; that is a set. For sets 1 & 2 choose a weight that you can perform 15 reps, but increase the weight for sets 3 & 4 for 10 reps each time. This only applies for the shoulder exercises. The ab workouts remain the same each set.
If you are new to working out or have questions about the above exercise, please reference the detailed exercise explanations below.
1a. Around the World
- Start standing shoulder width apart and a dumbbell in each hand palms facing away from you.
- With a slight bend in your elbows, but not bent, pull the dumbbells away from your body tracing a semi-circle on each side of your torso as you bring the dumbbells above your head.
- Reverse the movement by tracing the same semi-circle and returning to starting position.
1b. Plank Jacks
- Start in a push-up position with your shoulders aligned with your wrists.
- Jack your legs open and close just as you would perform a standing position.
1c. Mountain Climbers
- From the same push-up position quickly alternate bringing each knee into your chest.
2a. Standing Shoulder Press
- Start standing shoulder width apart and a dumbbell in each hand
- Bring dumbbells up to head height with your arms at a 90 degree angle and palms facing away from you
- Press the dumbbells directly above your head in a controlled motion. Keep your core tight and be careful not to arch or push from your back.
2b. Standing Oblique Rotation
- Starting standing with feet together and a slight bend in your knees.
- Hold dumbbells in both hands at the center of your chest.
- Rotate your torso looking right to left
- Keep your core tight and the movement fluid.
3a. Front to Lateral Raise, Lateral to Front Raise
- Start standing shoulder width apart with a dumbbell in each hand palms facing you.
- Lift the dumbbells to the front with a slight bend in the elbows and core tight.
- Your arms should be parallel to the floor.
- From this position, pull your hands away from each other tracing a semi-circle in front of you maintaining parallel to the floor.
- Stop when the dumbbells are just in your peripheral vision and lower to the sides of each leg.
- Perform a lateral shoulder lift returning the dumbbells to the side just in your peripheral vision.
- Retrace the semi-circle returning the dumbbells to the front position.
- Lower dumbbells to starting position.
- That’s one set!
3b. Side Plank with hip raise
- Start in a side plank position with your elbow aligned under your shoulder and your feet stacked on top of each other.
- Raise your hips up a few inches
- Return to side plank position and repeat
4a. Reverse Fly
- With a dumbbell in each hand, bend your knees slightly and hinge at the waist.
- Allow your hands to dangle directly out in front of you perpendicular with the floor.
- With a slight bend in your elbows and palms facing each other move the dumbbells away from each other to the side until palms are almost parallel to the floor.
- Return to starting position.
4b. Russian Twist with weight
- Start sitting on the floor with legs bent.
- Lean back slightly so your body weight is on your sits bones.
- Rotate your torso from right to left tapping the weight to each side.