If you’re anything like me, you spend endless hours lunging and squatting to create a tight, curvy lower body. But, guess what? A sexy body isn’t just about the butt and legs. Broad, beautiful shoulders are needed to achieve that hourglass shape that has defined sexy for generations. By simply developing the shoulders, a waist appears smaller, a thicker lower body looks more balanced, and goddess-like proportions become a reality. Not bad, huh?
Besides creating that hourglass shape, developed shoulders complement our wardrobe. A little definition and roundness goes a long way to amp up our favorite shoulder-baring garb, especially during the summer when we’re sporting bikinis and tank tops!
So, if you want that hourglass physique and divine deltoids for summer, you need the FitnessRx for Women “Sexy Shoulder” Workout. This muscle-building and toning program will sculpt gorgeous, sleek shoulders— perfect for all your favorite tank top, strappy and strapless looks!
Defining the Delt
The focus of this workout is developing the deltoids— the triangular muscle covering the shoulder joint. The deltoid is compromised of three heads: the anterior (front delt), the medial (side delt) and the posterior (rear delt). Together, these muscles rotate and lift the arm, making everyday activities, like picking up your pup, possible.
To sculpt sexy shoulders, it’s critical to develop all three heads of the muscle. Doing so will help you achieve those sexy, round shoulders, which are a universal sign of fitness. Conversely, if all the heads are not developed, you can look flat from one or more angles.
In addition to creating a balanced appearance, strengthening all three heads is essential for injury prevention. Since all the shoulder muscles work together, when one is under or overdeveloped, you leave yourself vulnerable to shoulder injury as well as discomfort in adjoining muscles like the back and neck.
What to Expect
This “Sexy Shoulder” workout was designed to develop each deltoid muscle, so you can enjoy sleek, round and injury-free shoulders.
In the initial straight sets, you will work on building your strength and muscle. So, make sure to lift as heavy as you can while still being safe and completing all the reps.
Finish the resistance workout with the “Get Pumped Tri-Set.” In this shoulder-burning set, perform the exercises with lighter weights and a more brisk pace.
If you have anything left in the tank, give the “Get High Definition” fat-blasting, shoulder-defining set a try. It’s a tough way to end a hard shoulder workout, but it’s better than getting on the treadmill… again.
Click the exercise for a video demonstration.
Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Presses
Get Set: Sit on bench with back pressing against the back pad. Firmly plant feet on the floor. Hold dumbbells at shoulder height with elbows out to the sides and palms facing forward.
Work: Lift the dumbbells straight up until they almost touch and your arms are just short of straight. Lower dumbbells and repeat.
Tip: Don’t lock out the elbow in the top position, as this transfers work to the triceps.
One-Arm Leaning Lateral Raises
Get Set: Grab onto a bench or other stable structure and lean away toward the working arm. Hold that position throughout the set.
Work: Lift the dumbbell up slightly higher than your shoulders with a slight bend in the elbow. Lower the weight slowly and repeat.
Tip: To get the most from this exercise, don’t let momentum take over. Perform this exercise in a slow, controlled motion, starting each rep from a dead stop rather than swinging the weight.
A leaning lateral raise gives you a little more range of motion to work and isolate your middle deltoid.
Cable Front Raises
Get Set: Set the cable pulley at the lowest setting with a bar attached. Straddle the cable and hold onto the bar with hands positioned narrower than shoulder width.
Work: Keeping arms just short of straight with your shoulders and traps pressed down, lift the bar slightly above eye level. Lower weight slowly.
Tip: It’s easy to quickly release the weight and lose tension in the front delt, so be sure to control the negative by taking two to three seconds to lower the weight.
Rear Deltoid Cable Rows
Get Set: Set the cable pulley about shoulder height with a rope attached. Take a few steps back to get tension in the pulley. Set feet in a shallow lunge position.
Work: Pull elbows back and slightly up, thinking about initiating the exercise with the rear deltoid and not the hands. Slowly release the weight, keeping body stable.
Tip: To keep this exercise out of your trapezius muscle and in your deltoid, keep your neck relaxed and your shoulders pressed down.
Switch it up: This exercise can also be performed seated on a bench.
Seated Top-Hold Dumbbell Presses
Get Set: Sit on bench and hold dumbbells at shoulder height with elbows out to the sides and palms facing forward.
Work: Lift one dumbbell straight up and hold it. Then, lift the other arm. Once the second arm reaches the top position, lower the first arm. Continue this alternating press with a brisk but controlled pace until all reps are complete.
Tip: Don’t lock out the elbow in the top position, as this transfers work to the triceps.
Seated Side/Front Raises
Get Set: Sit on a bench with your feet extending out in front and your torso erect.
Work: Complete a side lateral raise and then a front raise. That is one rep. When performing the front raise, make sure the dumbbells pass in front of your face rather than out to the side.
Tip: You will need a lighter weight than what you usually use for lateral or front raises, as sitting on the bench with the feet extending minimizes momentum, making the movement more difficult.
Seated Bent-Over Lateral Raises
Get Set: Sit on the end of a bench, knees together and take a dumbbell in each hand. Bend forward from the waist and bring dumbbells to the sides of your legs with your palms facing in.
Work: Maintaining the bent-over position, lift the dumbbells out to the side until the weights are in line with your shoulders. Slowly lower the weights and repeat.
Tip: To keep the work in your rear delts, think about keeping the hands wide and lifting the weights straight out to the side. Don’t let the weights shift back behind your shoulders,
as this transfers the work to your trapezius muscle.
Stability Ball Push-ups
Get Set: Begin with your hips on the ball, hands on the floor and feet stretched out straight behind you. Walk hands out a bit so that the ball is positioned either below the thighs or, to make it more difficult, below the ankles. Place hands on floor in line with shoulders.
Work: Lower body by bending elbows, bringing the chest as close to the floor as possible. Make sure to keep head, torso and legs aligned and tight. Straighten arms to complete rep.
Variation: If the stability ball push-up is too challenging, try kneeling push-ups on the floor or a plank hold for 30 seconds (with or without a stability ball).
Get Set: Get in a plank position with hands slightly wider than shoulder width.
Work: While maintaining upper body position, bring one knee up to the chest while touching toe to the ground. Switch legs. Continue alternating legs briskly— the faster the speed, the greater the intensity.
Get Set: Grab a rope and get in an open space.
Work: Jump 1 to 2 inches off the floor— just enough space for the rope to pass under the balls of the feet. Keep elbows at sides and slightly above the waistline while you turn the rope.
Tip: Having the correct jump rope length will make getting into a good rhythm easier. An easy test to find the right length: When you put the rope under your feet and lift the ends, the handles should reach your sternum.
Maximize your shoulder training by avoiding these common shoulder-training mistakes.
DON’T SHRUG. When performing shoulder presses or raises, it’s easy to tense your traps and neck. Doing so takes the tension out of the deltoid and can strain the neck in the process.
DON’T GO THUMBS UP. Think about keeping your pinkies, rather than your thumbs, high in your shoulder presses to increase tension in the deltoids.
DON’T GET OUT OF LINE. When performing lateral raises, don’t lead with your elbows or hands. Rather, keep them in line for maximum deltoid engagement.
DON’T LOCK IT OUT. When performing shoulder presses, don’t lock out the elbow at the top of the exercise, as it transfers the work to the triceps.
DON’T SWING. Avoid swinging the weight when performing raises. Instead, move the weights in a strong, but controlled movement.
DON’T SQUAT. Save the squats for leg day. When training shoulders, eliminate the squatting, bending and rocking to help you move the weight. If you are struggling to complete your reps, consider decreasing the weight or asking for a spot.
Jaime’s Favorite Sexy Body Supplement
My favorite supplement for sculpting sexy shoulders, or any other muscle for that matter, is branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs). Amino acids are the building blocks of protein and, when taken in proper dosage, are clinically proven to help muscular endurance, delay fatigue and speed up recovery. Said another way, BCAAs allow you to train harder for longer, which affords you more fat-burning… more muscle-building… more results. That’s what we all want, right?
While there are numerous BCAA products on the market, my favorite is Aminolast by Gaspari Nutrition. In addition to providing a potent dose (10 g) of high quality BCAAs, Aminolast is loaded with electrolytes to keep you hydrated, features Ammoject technology to expel fatigue-causing waste from your muscles, is stimulant-free and tastes great. (I highly recommend the watermelon flavor.) Try drinking it while you train— you’ll notice the difference.
Click here for more of my favorite sexy shoulder supplements to train harder and longer!
Show it Off
The next time you slip into that sexy tank or strapless dress, make those shoulders pop with gorgeous, glowing skin!
EXFOLIATE. Rid your skin of dry skin cells and reveal smooth glowing skin by exfoliating regularly. You can purchase a scrub just about anywhere, but beware of scrubs with harsh chemicals that can dry out your skin. You can make your own scrub at home with ½ cup of sugar mixed with enough cold-pressed olive oil to dampen the mixture.
SELF-TAN. Get sun-kissed without sunburns or tanning beds by using self-tanners. Try Pro Tan’s Sunny Day for a natural-looking overnight solution or St. Tropez’s Bronzing Mousse for an immediate, streak-free glow.
MOISTURIZE. Moisturizers with natural oils will soften your skin and give it a sexy sheen. Try The Body Shop’s Mango Body Butter or Bella Lucce Tahitian Body Glaze. Or keep it simple by mixing a few drops of natural oil with your favorite body lotion.
HIGHLIGHT. For those special nights out on the town, draw attention to your shoulders and décollete by adding luminosity and shimmer. Try Studio Cara’s Skinshimmer product in Inca for that perfect bronze glimmer or Atlantis for a pearlescent glow.