If you want to build strong, sculpted shoulders, you’ve got to be willing to work. And even though it takes dedication to build a strong upper body, it doesn’t mean you have to spend hours in the gym— you just need to know the right exercises to hit all parts of the shoulders to properly work them. So we’ve enlisted the help of IFBB Bikini Pro Tawna Eubanks to help us sculpt sexy shoulders. Come on— let’s get started!
Dumbbell Shoulder Press
Standing with your feet about shoulder-width apart, hold a dumbbell in each hand, raising them to head height with elbows at about 90 degrees. Lift the dumbbells straight up until they almost touch and pause for moment at the top. Lower dumbbells and repeat.
Tawna’s Tip: “Pick a manageable weight so you can get a full range of motion. If you can’t lower the weight below your ears and fully extend at the top, it’s probably too heavy.”
Cable Machine Front Raises
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. Keeping arms just short of straight with your shoulders and traps pressed down, lift the bar slightly above eye level. Lower weight slowly.
Tawna’s Tip: “Try these overhand and underhand and see how the difference hits your shoulders. Here I did underhand.”
Dumbbell Side Laterals
Begin by grasping two dumbbells and allow them to hang by your hips. With a slight bend to your elbows, raise the dumbbells up and out to the sides until they reach shoulder level. Slowly return the weights back to the starting position.
Tawna’s Tip: “Lead with your elbows. Your wrist should never be above your elbows.”
Reverse Pec Deck
Adjust the handles on the reverse pec deck machine so that they are fully to the rear. Choose a weight that’s good for you and adjust the seat so that the handles are at shoulder level. Grasp the handles so that your hands are facing in. Pull your arms out to your sides and back, contracting your shoulders and rear delts. Return to starting position.
Tawna’s Tip: “Don’t go all the way back. Stop where your arms are perpendicular to your body.”
Machine Shoulder Press
Sit down on the shoulder press machine and select the weight. Grab handles and keep elbows bent and in line with your torso. Lift the handles, fully extending the arms. Hold the top position for a second before lowering back to the starting position.
Tawna’s Tip: “Make sure you have the seat adjusted at the right height. The resistance should start when your hands are just below the level of your ears.”
Plate Front Raises
Hold a plate in both hands with palms facing each other. Slowly raise the plate until it is slightly above shoulder level. Hold for a second before slowly lowering to the starting position.
Tawna’s Tip: “I like to bring the plate a little above my forehead. It makes it a little harder than just straight out.”
Machine Side Laterals
Choose a weight on the machine. Sit so that you are facing the machine, with the base of your upper arm against the pad. Maintain a neutral spine with your chest up. Move your upper arms laterally until they are parallel to the floor. Pause for a moment before returning to the start position.
Tawna’s Tip: “Keep your shoulders down or else you will be using your traps too much.”
High Rope Pull on cable
Attach a rope to the pulley and hold with an overhand grip. Extend your arms in front of you. Pull the cable attachment toward your upper chest, keeping your elbows up and out to both sides before returning to start position.
Tawna’s Tip: “Pull the rope toward your face to keep it on the rear delt. If you pull it low toward your chest, it will be a back movement.”