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3 shoulder exercises that make your arms look toned and your waist look smaller

A woman doing dumbbell shoulder press.
Dumbbell overhead press is a great exercise for training the shoulders.
  • Strong shoulders are helpful for an array of exercises and general life.
  • They also play a key part in an athletic physique, making arms looks toned and the waist look smaller.
  • Personal trainer Emma Storey-Gordon shared the best three exercises to build them.

Strong shoulders not only allow you to perform a variety of movements effectively, they can also shift the look of your physique.

The appearance of toned arms often comes down to having defined shoulders: "Shoulders give your arms a nice shape," personal trainer and sports scientist Emma Storey-Gordon told Insider.

A post shared by Emma Storey Gordon (@esgfitness)

More shapely shoulders can also make a person's waist look smaller, whether you're aiming to create an "hourglass" silhouette or "triangle" one.

Most upper body exercises use the shoulders to some extent, Storey-Gordon said.

"Muscles don't work in isolation in the way most people think," she said. "You will notice this if you have ever injured your shoulder, they are pretty key in many movements."

The 3 best exercises to build your shoulders

Storey-Gordon shared three of the best exercises for the shoulders.

To ensure you're not "cheating" the movement and your form is correct, Storey-Gordon advises getting a professional to teach you the right technique, and ensure you're focusing on the muscles you're engaging while doing the exercises.

Shoulder press

The shoulder press can be performed with a barbell, dumbbells, or using a shoulder press machine.

If using a barbell, start in a front rack position, with the bar at shoulder height, feet hip-width apart, and the core engaged.

Lateral raises

Lateral raises are performed from a standing position with a dumbbell in each hand. Raise your arms to the side to shoulder height, with a soft bend at the elbow and palms facing the ground, and then lower again.

Be sure to do these in a controlled manner rather than swinging the dumbbells up, Storey-Gordon said: "They are very humbling, you are unlikely to be able to lift as heavy as you can with other exercises or increase the weight as often."

Rear delt flies

To perform rear delt flies, hold a dumbbell in each hand, stand with your feet hip-width apart, and bend at the hips so your torso is about 45 degrees to the ground, keeping your back straight and a soft bend in the knee. This is your starting position.

Keeping your head and neck in line with your back and a slight bend at the elbow, raise your arms to the side to shoulder level, with the palms facing inwards, and then lower again.

"You can do these with dumbbells but I prefer to use cables or bands as you get a more constant tension," Storey-Gordon said.

With rear delt flies and lateral raises, she advises performing them in higher rep ranges and lower weights (10-20 reps per set), rather than heavy weights and low reps, to get the best results.

Read the original article on Insider

3 shoulder exercises that make your arms look toned and your waist look smaller
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