5 Back and Shoulder Workouts for Women
Toned, round shoulders can do wonders for a woman’s body; not only will she seem fit and athletic, anything she wears will look amazing. Pair that with a toned back and you’ve got a drop dead gorgeous woman rockin’ halter tops and spaghetti straps all summer long.
It’s not even that hard to build your shoulders and back! All you have to do is find a weight you’re comfortable with lifting, and lift. You don’t have to push yourself (in fact, be very careful when lifting and don’t take on more than you can as you run the risk of seriously injuring yourself), all you have to do is be consistent. Consistently work out, at least 3 times a week, and you’ll be able to see positive changes in your back and shoulders within a month!
What exercise is best for me?
A simple Google search for a back and shoulder workout yield several articles – all written for men. A Google search for upper back exercises women yields much fewer articles. Where are the exercises for women – the shoulder workouts for women, the back workouts for women? Women are built differently and we store muscle mass differently from men. A man’s workout will not suit a woman, and it will not give her the same results it gives him. This is why we have come up with 5 different back and shoulder workouts for women.
How much weight should I lift?
Before we start our exercises, we must first ensure we’ve got the correct set of weights. Pick a weight that you’re comfortable with, but make sure it’s not too light for you or you will not get the maximum benefits from each exercise.
A good test to find the perfect weight for you is to lift it into the starting position of the exercise. If it’s too difficult to lift it using proper form, or if you can’t hold your weight steady, you should opt for a lighter weight.
Remember, you want a weight that you can lift, but is heavy enough that you find it difficult to complete your last rep!
Now that we’ve covered all the basics, it’s time to look at some back exercises for women as well as some shoulder exercises for women!
Exercise #1: Side Lateral Raise
This is a great back shoulder workout. Pick up a set of dumbbells and hold them by your sides, or in front of your hips with your arms curved in slightly. Your legs should be slightly apart and your knees should be slightly bent. Then, raise your arms laterally (towards the sides) until they are level with your shoulder. Keep your elbows slightly bent – you don’t want to place your muscles under too much strain.
This exercise is a little difficult because it requires you to move your arms slowly. Therefore, don’t be discouraged if you have to switch to a lighter weight, it’s more important that you maintain perfect form!
Exercise #2: Seated Dumbbell Press
This exercise is one of the best back exercises for women! Select your weight and sit comfortably on a flat bench or a straight-backed chair. Remember to keep your back straight as this exercise really works the back shoulder muscles. Keep your feet flat on the ground for balance.
Hold the dumbbells at ear level, with one side of the weighted discs facing your ear and the other facing outwards. Then, push the weight upwards until your arms are nearly straight – but be sure not to lock your elbows! Bring them back to ear level.
Exercise #3: Front Plate Raise
This is a great workout for beginners. Simply hold a weight plate out in front of you, raise it up until it is in line with your shoulders, then lower it again.
Because this exercise is so simple, it’s important to try and get the most out of it. Raise and lower your plate slowly so you can really feel the burn in your shoulders.
Exercise #4: Seated Deltoid Raise
This is one of the best shoulder exercises for women. Just because you’ll be sitting doesn’t mean it’s an easy one though!
Sit right on the edge of a flat bench and bend over as much as you can – you should aim for your chest to touch your knees. Make sure your feet are flat on the ground for balance.Hold your dumbbells in front of your shins, with one of the weighted discs pointing directly at your legs. The other will be pointing outwards. Keep your gaze on the floor.
Raise your weights out to the side of your body and bring them back down again. Repeat. Go as slowly as you can to really work those delts.
Exercise #5: Push-ups
So far, we’ve been discussing back and shoulder exercises that require dumbbells. But for those who would prefer engaging in a shoulder workout without weight, we’ve got the perfect one for you: the classic push up.
This exercise doesn’t just work out your chest, it works all the muscles in your shoulders. However, several people don’t do it with proper form and thus, do not get the amazing benefits of this age-old exercise.
For your starting position, you want your hands to be directly under your shoulders. Your legs should be in plank position and you should be resting the balls of your feet on the ground (this is the padded area under your toes).
If you’re new to working out, this position may be a little hard for you, so you can rest your knees on the ground and cross your ankles. The first starting position engages your core, while this does not.
Regardless of which starting position you use, always squeeze your core and your glutes when you do a push-up. Try to touch your chest to the ground while keeping your elbows strictly by your side. Once you’re as low as you can go, push back up. Then repeat.'
The number of reps you do for each exercise is up to you, however, you should aim to do at least 10 of each if you’re a beginner.