As a woman I realize the importance of shoulder exercises for women, not only to improve my own strength and stability, but also for my clients.
When I don't do shoulder stretching exercises regularly I feel it...and it doesn't feel good!
I feel the pain and tension in my neck and shoulders when working on the computer writing you these pages.
I feel my lack of shoulder strength when I lift my toddler and play and swing her around.
I feel the tension when I am driving to the Pilates Studio and then working all day adjusting equipment and spotting my students.
What then are the best shoulder exercises for women?
My favorites are those that stretch, stabilize, and strengthen all of the muscles of the shoulder girdle complex.
I will show you several different shoulder workouts using different equipment here.
One of my favorite ways to do shoulder exercises for women is on the Pilates reformer.
Here's a little workout I've put together for you....
On the Pilates reformer you can work to stabilize the shoulder complex with exercises such as the down stretch and reverse plank with hands on shoulder pads.
To help work on the strength and flexibility of the shoulder complex I like Reformer exercises such as the sword draw, mermaid with rotation, shoulder presses from a side and back rowing position.
For the woman who likes to work out at home I would recommend using dumbbells or resistance bands.
The Shoulder Press with 5-10 pound dumbbells is a great way to target the deltoids and improve your shoulder strength and flexibility to reach up and grab things.
The Front and Side Arm Raises with 3-8 pound dumbbells also targets the deltoids that cap the rotator cuff and help again with reaching out to the sides and in front of you to pick things up and even reach in the back seat to grab a toy for your screaming toddler while you are driving.
I don't ever leave home on a trip without the resistance band. It travels well and offers a great workout and really helps to keep tension out of my neck and shoulders.Shoulder Rowing Exercise:
Rowing with the band is simple, just loop it around your feet and pull elbows straight back or out to the sides as shown.
The video shown here includes shoulder rehab exercises, but can also be used with heavier weights to get a good shoulder workout in general.
These exercises can be done standing or lying (as shown).
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