Weight training does not have to take a lot of time from an individual. The body needs ample time to recover and if the strength training session is focused enough, only training one body part a week will yield amazing results. I am going to describe in a series of blogs how to train one body part per 20-30 min session. This allows the individual to be in the gym (or wherever they chose to train) for a short period of time with optimal results. This month we will train shoulders. Consulting a personal trainer is important with many of these exercises as proper form has to be maintained throughout, but this is a template to work with.
With either dumbbells or a bar (free or a smith machine) press upwards to a nearly locked elbow and return to a 90 degree elbow bend with the weight and repeat for a count of 8-10. The weight you use should be heavy enough to make the last repetition a challenge. Repeat this “set” of 8-10 repetitions 4 times. Take a rest between “sets” sufficient to be able to tackle the set again with nearly full strength. Don’t be discouraged if in the next set you fail to complete the 8-10 reps, just decrease the weight a small amount and finish to 10.
This exercise requires some finesse and it is a good idea to consult a personal trainer to demonstrate proper form. In any weight training exercise and especially important here it is vital
to keep shoulders back and down, chest out and keep all other parts of the body still except that which you are working.
Begin with two dumbells or weights in front of you perpendicular to the ground, with arms at a slight bend at the elbows and raise these weights laterally until you reach a point where your arms are parallel to the ground and tip the dumbells slightly as if you are pouring a glass or bottle. Return to the starting position and repeat this movement 8 times for 4 sets. Never swing your body to get the weights to where they should be as this will indicate the weight is too heavy. Fluid controlled motion is essential.
Superset with alternating front raises:
Supersetting means that you follow one exercise immediately with another before taking a break. In this exercise chose a lighter weight (often one half of the weight you are using for lateral raises) and begin with the weights at your side with your arms nearly straight. Raise one dumbbell at a time in front of you until your arm is parallel to the ground and return to the starting position. Alternate each arm and continue to the point where you are exhausted or your form begins to falter. Repeat this 4 times immediately following each set of lateral raises.
Close grip front raises:
This exercise involves using either a free bar or a cable system at the gym with a bar attached. Make sure before you begin the movement to have your shoulders back and your chest out as well as your legs close together and a slight bend in your knee. Never let the weight pull you forward or compromise your lower back. Begin with your hands close together and raise the bar leading with your elbows to bring the bar just below your chin. Return to starting position and repeat 8-10 times, for 4 sets, always maintaining your form throughout.
This short workout should take no more than 20-30 minutes and should focus on form and visualizing the muscle being used. The individual should focus on all other parts of the body being still while performing the movements. Once the mind understands the pathway that the muscles should take it will become easier and increase gains will be made in both development and strength.
I hope you have enjoyed this months exercise blog, stay tuned for monthly sample workout that will eventually tackle your entire body!