Shoulders don’t get a lot of attention because they are considered secondary muscles compared with their larger counterparts – the pectoralis (chest) or the latissimus dorsi (large back muscle). The muscles in the shoulder are an intricate and complex design to support the joint attaching your arm to the rest of your body. Your upper arm is connected to your body with a series of muscles to your shoulder blade in the back and your collarbone to the front. Without your shoulder muscles, your arm would be hanging by your side like a rag doll. This challenge takes a fun approach to working on these muscles. And if you are active and like to swim, surf, play tennis or basketball, having healthy shoulders is a large part of your life.
How to do the challenge:
- Grab a full gallon of water or milk which weighs a little more than 8 pounds. You can adjust the volume as needed.
- Hold the bottle with both hands at your chest and then lift the jug overhead.
- Bring it back to your chest and continue for 45 seconds or 20 repetitions.
Don’t have a gallon of water or milk? Other items in your home that you can use: canned food, dishwashing liquid, or salt container. These are about 1-2 lbs and can be used one shoulder at a time.
Fun variations – You can also spice up your workout by balancing on one-leg while reaching overhead or get into a squat position and lower your body and as you reach overhead.
Trainer insight – if you do have troubled shoulders or overuse injury, some shoulder movements will not feel right. If any of these movements hurt or feel off, don’t do it.
Healthy shoulders are important for keeping you moving and pain-free. Other benefits include:
- Strong shoulders help you with your performance during the active part of your day. If the sport you love requires that your arms are strong and moving in different planes, you will want to include shoulder exercises in your weekly routine. http://www.acsm.org/public-information/articles/2012/01/10/keeping-shoulders-strong-and-healthy
- Taking care of your shoulders prevents injuries. As mentioned earlier, shoulder care is like car maintenance. It matters most when it isn’t working. Be sure to listen to your body. Shoulder pain is a very good cue that something is wrong. http://www.ideafit.com/fitness-library/training-young-athletes
Strong shoulders look nice and can even make a statement. Other exercises for your shoulders include lateral raise, front raise, and internal and external rotation of your arm. To see more exercises, click on this link – https://www.acefitness.org/certifiednews/images/article/pdfs/ACEShoulderStudy.pdf