Can’t get to the gym? No problem. You can still sculpt and train those sagging shoulders with a range of bodyweight exercises that can be done from anywhere.
When you think about it, the muscles that comprise your shoulders are involved in many of the most popular bodyweight exercises. This gives you the perfect opportunity to work on your shoulders while strengthening your core and working out various other muscle groups simultaneously.
Bodyweight exercises are great because they work the entire body and can be tailored to various fitness levels. Below, we look at why you should train your shoulders with your bodyweight and introduce you to five excellent exercises that you can do from just about anywhere.
Let’s begin by understanding the importance of strengthening your shoulders.
Bulking and strengthening your shoulders doesn’t only help you look great, but it supports greater flexibility and movement, too. Your shoulder joint has the most extensive range of motion in the body, and the muscle groups that support it should be firm and robust.
From an anatomical perspective, the shoulder is supported by a range of up to twenty muscles, according to Healthline. Perhaps the most significant, and those that we refer to when we talk of working the shoulders, are the four rotator cuffs, specifically:
• Teres minor
Your shoulder cuffs play a vital role in moving your arms and upper body, so you must look after them. According to research from StatPearls, more than eighteen million Americans every year suffer from shoulder injuries, and the vast majority of these stem from rotator cuff tears.
To protect yourself from tears and degenerative conditions that result from age, it’s super important that you strengthen your rotator cuffs, as well as all of the other muscles that comprise the shoulder region.
While attending the gym and using specially designed equipment is undoubtedly beneficial to building shoulder strength, it’s not the only option available to you. In fact, bodyweight exercises are becoming increasingly popular, as people are more mobile and want to work out wherever they are. Here are some of the main benefits of bodyweight exercises:
• They work the entire body: While some bodyweight exercises target a specific area of the body, they tend to work several muscle groups at once [as we show in the next section].
• They build better balance: Bodyweight exercises require the body to stabilize itself, thus improving your balance and increasing your flexibility.
• They can be done almost anywhere: Most bodyweight exercises can be done with nothing more than a roll-out mat. The result? You can do them wherever you are in the world, at whatever time.
• They’re suitable for all fitness levels: The beauty of a bodyweight workout is that they’re accessible for people of varying fitness levels. Whether a beginner or a professional athlete, you can incorporate bodyweight exercises into your routine and see results.
Let’s take a look at five of the best bodyweight exercises to work your shoulders.
Is there a more straightforward bodyweight exercise to do from anywhere than the incline push-up? Whether you use a park bench, the kitchen table, or the steps outside your office, you can perform incline push-ups wherever you are.
Begin by forming a plank position with your hand shoulder-width apart. Then, slowly lower your chest towards the item you’re propping yourself up against, and use your arms and chest to push upwards.
This one works your pecs, delts, and triceps. Perform three sets of ten reps to get you started.
You certainly can’t go wrong with a plank. But transitioning to the downward dog gets your shoulders working even harder, and is excellent for your core, too.
Begin by assuming a plank position. Your feet should be shoulder length apart and your hands underneath your shoulders. Keep things tight, and don’t let your hips droop. To transition, push your hips toward the sky [or ceiling, if you’re indoors] and let your heels move toward the ground. By keeping your arms and legs straight, you should eventually form a V shape. Pause, then return to your starting position.
The plank to downward dog works your shoulders but also your pecs, quads, and glutes. Aim for a minimum of five reps.,
This is another nice and straightforward shoulder exercise to perform without weights. You will need a mat and towel for comfort, but other than that, you’re good to go.
Lie face down on your mat with your legs straight out behind you. Rest your head on your towel to avoid straining your neck, then extend your arms out to your side in a T shape. Next, slowly raise your chest and arms and hold them there for a couple of seconds before lowering them to the starting position.
Perform one set of twelve sets. This one targets your shoulders and back extensors, so be sure to limber up your back before attempting.
A firm favorite of Pilates fans, the pike push-up stretches your core and gets your shoulders working.
Assume the position of the downward dog before walking slowly towards your hands. Eventually, your shoulders will be above your hands. Ensure your elbows are tucked into your sides as you drop your head to the floor. As soon as you can lightly touch the mat with your forehead, raise it back to the starting position and repeat.
Try three sets of ten reps. You will work your shoulders, chest, and core.
Although it looks ridiculous, the crab walk is a great way to boost the strength in your shoulders and upper body.
Take a seat on the floor with your knees bent, and keep your feet shoulder length apart. Next, reach out and place the palms of your hands on the floor, with your fingers pointing forward. Then, raise your body and begin walking along on your hands and feet. Try and maintain a table shape to your body and keep your stomach flat.
Try crab walking for thirty seconds before resting. Like the other exercises, you work several muscles simultaneously, including your shoulders, glutes, abs, and quads.
One of the main reasons that shoulder injuries are so common is that your shoulder is involved in so much of your body’s vital movements. This is coupled with the fact that many people neglect to strengthen their shoulders, instead focusing on working their cores and upper arms instead. The key to protecting your shoulder is ensuring you don’t skip your bodyweight exercises and make sure you continually build strength in your upper body.
Absolutely! When it comes to training and developing a workout schedule, variety is super important. Consider incorporating bodyweight exercises into your routine, particularly on days where you can’t easily get to the gym. You will find that bodyweight exercises train different parts of the body to weight exercises, and this variety will serve you well if you’re hoping to see results.
It’s perfectly possible to train and strengthen your shoulders with bodyweight exercises. Providing you follow a specific program and get your form right; you will be able to build the muscles in your shoulders without lifting a single weight.
Just be mindful that change takes time, and you will need to monitor your progress over several weeks or even months before you start seeing actual gains. The key is to be consistent and patient while trying as many different exercises as possible.
So, whether you attend the gym regularly or want to bulk from home, the shoulder bodyweight exercises that we’ve introduced show there’s absolutely no excuse not to work your shoulders, regardless of where you train.