shoulder strengthening exercises for women

Few people would argue that strength training is one of the best things you can do to maintain the functionality of your body. Shoulder strength, however, reaps these benefits even more so than some other body parts. Having toned shoulders looks great in the mirror, but working on the shoulder muscles has many other benefits as well. The shoulder joint is one of the more fragile joints because of how many directions the joint moves. By strengthening the muscles around the shoulder joint, you can help improve shoulder strength and prevent instability and injury to the joint. Below are some of the best shoulder strengthening exercises for women to practice to help protect the shoulder joint.

  • Dumbbell front raises

      1. Grab a dumbbell in each hand.
      2. Stand straight with your legs hip-width apart, arms down and palms facing the front of your thighs.
      3. Keeping your elbows and wrists straight, slowly raise the weights to shoulder level or just below.
      4. Lower your arms back to the starting position to complete one rep.
  • Lateral Raises

      1. Hold a dumbbell in each hand. 
      2. Stand straight with your legs shoulder-width apart, arms by your side, palms facing your outer thigh.
      3. Raise your arms out to the side (laterally) until they are at the shoulder level.
      4. Pause for a moment and bring your arms down to the starting position.
  • Standing Shoulder Press

shoulder strengthening exercises for women

      1. Grab a dumbbell in each hand. Legs should be hip-width apart, shoulders rolled back, and chest out.
      2. Raise the weights so your upper arms are parallel to the floor while your elbows are bent at 90º (think of it as a victory cheer).
      3. Slowly extend your elbows and press the dumbbells over your head.
      4. Bring your arms back to the starting position to complete one rep.
  • Seated Bent-over Rear Delt Raise

      1. Grab a dumbbell in each hand and sit on a flat bench. Keep your legs together, and bend your upper body so that your chest is near your knees and your neck is in line with your spine. Arms should be hanging down near your calves.
      2. Breathe in, and as you exhale lift the dumbbells to your sides with arms extended, elbows slightly bent. It should almost look like a bird flapping its wings.
      3. Pause, inhale, and slowly lower the dumbbells back to the starting position.
  • Dumbbell Upright Rows

      1. Grab a dumbbell in each hand. Stand with the legs hip-width apart and palms facing your thighs.
      2. Draw the dumbbells up to your chest level by pulling your elbows toward your back. Keep your elbows close to your body, with your palms facing inward.
      3. Slowly lower the weight to the starting position.
  • Reverse Fly

      1. Grab a dumbbell in each hand with feet close together. Bend at a 45º angle at the waist. Slightly bend your knees and hold weights with palms facing each other in front of your thighs.
      2. Slowly lift your extended arms out to your side, squeezing your shoulder blades.
      3. Pause for a moment and then bring them back to the starting position.
  • Overhead Tricep Extensions

      1. Sitting on a bench or chair, hold one dumbbell with both hands. 
      2. Extend your arms and bring the dumbbell over your head. This is the starting position.
      3. Flex your elbows, and lower your forearms so the dumbbell is positioned behind your head Keep your elbows tight to your head instead of flexing out to the side.
      4. Extend your forearms and elbows to return to the starting position and complete one rep.
  • Shoulder Shrugs
      1. Hold a dumbbell in each hand. Place your hands by your side with your palms facing inward. Stand straight with your abs tight, shoulders rolled back, and chest up.
      2. Raise your shoulders to your ears in a shrug as high as you can. Hold for 15 seconds, then lower.
  • Plank

      1. Lay down on your stomach with your elbows bent so your forearms are on the floor with fingers pointed out in the direction of your head.
      2. Lift off of the floor, supporting your weight on your forearms and toes.
      3. Hold this pose for 30-60 seconds.
  • Push-ups

    1. Get down in a plank position with your hands directly beneath your shoulders, abs tight, and body in a straight line.
    2. Bend your elbows to the sides, and lower your body towards the floor. Make sure your body remains in a straight line.
    3. Press up back to the starting position.

Each of these exercises works the muscles in the shoulder. If you are just beginning to practice shoulder strength training, you will want to start out with lighter weight, or possibly no weight at all until you have mastered the movements. Your current strength level will determine the amount of sets and reps you should perform. The Pro Active Pain Clinic in Toronto specializes in shoulder movement. We focus on the treatment of chronic shoulder pain, and we would love to consult with you to set you up with a shoulder strength program that works for you, or to demonstrate any of these moves. 

Reach out for a free initial consultation with us and check out our website to learn more about our procedures! We are covered by most private insurance companies, and we are able to do direct billing through your private insurance. See more info on commonly asked questions here.