Back to school and work can be more rewarding than you think. It can provide a great weight-lifting workout so be sure you have properly trained for it. As well, you need to have strong shoulders for everyday actions such as lifting objects up onto a high shelf, or pulling clothes over your head.
And what's a great way to strengthen your shoulder so you don't strain it? By doing an over-head shoulder press. Otherwise known as the military press, this is a choice exercise for most people because it strengthens the deltoid and helps to strengthen the rotator cuff, while causing the least amount of stress to the shoulder joint. This exercise is ideal for people who have already achieved some shoulder strength and are looking for more results.
Overhead shoulder press:
1. Sit or stand with your feet hip distance apart, abdominals pulled in tight, chest lifted, ears aligned over your shoulders and shoulders stacked directly over your hips (avoid slouching). Hold a five-pound (2.3 kg) dumbbell in each hand. (Adjust the weights accordingly: You should be able to lift the weight at least eight times, but not more than 12, and feel the effort.)
2. Bend your elbows 90 degrees and lift the weights up just above your shoulders, with your palms facing forward to start. Press both weights at the same time overhead until your arms are fully extended (but do not lock your elbows), exhaling as you push the weights up. Inhale as you lower the weights until your elbows are level with your shoulders.
3. Pause to breathe in and repeat the overhead push again. Maintain good upright posture throughout the press.
Repetitions and sets
Perform one set of 10 to 15 repetitions, then progress to three sets. Do this exercise 3 times a week.
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