The best tried and true shoulder exercises are the same for most healthy individuals (both men and women), and can be performed easily at home. Dumbbells are a good option to use for most of these exercises, however, holding canned goods of equal weight in each hand will also work, especially for beginners.
Since the shoulder is a complex joint comprised of numerous structures, several different movements are required to work the shoulder in its entirety. A healthy shoulder joint can move through all planes of motion with ease, so if you find any of the following exercises painful or if you simply can’t perform the movement due to restrictions in mobility, be sure to have your shoulders evaluated by a healthcare professional before continuing with this program.
Demonstrations and instructions for the following exercises can be found by clicking on the associated links below:
• Overhead press http://www.acefitness.org/acefit/exercise-library-details/8/45/
• Lateral raise http://www.acefitness.org/acefit/exercise-library-details/8/26/
• Front raise http://www.acefitness.org/acefit/exercise-library-details/8/54/
• Bent-knee push-ups http://www.acefitness.org/acefit/exercise-library-details/8/13/
• Prone scapular stabilization series http://www.acefitness.org/acefit/exercise-library-details/8/249/
For your first attempt, try to perform one set of 10–15 repetitions of each of these exercises. Toward the end of each set, the movement should begin to feel more challenging. Stop the set if your form becomes compromised due to fatigue, and move on to the next exercise. Once you become efficient at the first set, add a second and then third set to your shoulder workout. Always pay attention to internal cues, such as shoulder pain or improper form caused by an inability to move the shoulder properly, and stop the exercise.
It may take you several weeks to build up enough strength and endurance to perform the full 10–15 repetitions in the second and third sets, but eventually, you’ll master it. When that happens, it will be time to move on and change your shoulder workout completely. For tips on a variety of shoulder exercises, visit the ACE Online Exercise Library.