Building rock-hard, linebacker-style shoulders is essential to creating a V-shaped torso. If you’re not already doing these basic upper-body moves, get them into your workouts STAT. Do 3 sets of 12 reps for each of the following exercises.
Military Press: Many trainers consider the military press to be the best shoulder exercise there is. It’s simple, yet effective, and can be done with either a barbell or a dumbbell. If using a barbell, hold it at shoulder height with your hands about shoulder-width apart; use an overhand grip. If you’re using dumbbells, hold your arms out to each side with elbows bent about 90 degrees (your arms should create two L shapes). In one controlled movement, push straight up so that the weight clears above your head, and stop just before your elbows lock. Next, return to starting position slowly to complete the rep.
Pushups: They’re basic, but pushups are essential to developing and maintaining stand-out shoulders. To make the most of the move, be sure that your fingers are pointing out, your back is straight, and that you lower your body all the way down before coming up. When the classic pushup gets stale, try the rotational pushup. Perform a classic pushup, but when you come up, rotate your body so that your left arm lifts up and extends overhead, your arms and torso forming a T. Return to starting position, lower your body into another pushup. When you come up, rotate until your right hand points to the ceiling.
Bent-Over Lateral Raise: The stranger you look, the better this move works. Stand with your knees slightly bent, and bend at the waist until your spine is in line with the floor. Hold a dumbbell in each hand at thigh level, the weights parallel to your thighs. Slowly raise your arms out to each side, keeping your elbows slightly bent, until your wrists are at shoulder height. Hold for two seconds before returning to starting position.
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