If it’s time to give your shoulders some TLC, then don’t delay! Here are 6 simple ways to relax and tone your shoulders:
1. Inhale and shrug your shoulders up as close to your ears as possible. Hold for 3 counts and squeeze your shoulder muscles tight. Then, exhale, release the muscles, and let your shoulders relax. Repeat several times.
2. Give your shoulders a squeeze! Sure, a Swedish masseuse is ideal, but self-massage can actually work wonders. Use your right hand to grab your left shoulder’s trapezes muscle. Give it a slight squeeze and tug, working your fingers gently into the muscle. Don’t forget to reverse it and try it on the other side, too!
3. Relieve the tension in your shoulders by doing some dynamic neck stretches. Reach your right arm down and away from the body and relax your head towards the left shoulder. Gently place your left hand onto your head and press your head into your hand to create resistance. Repeat on the other side. You’ll feel a great stretch that reaches all the way from your neck through your shoulder!
4. Do some shoulder presses. Hold a pair of dumbbells in your hands and rest them on your shoulders so that your palms face the front. Exhale and slowly lift your arms until your arms are fully extended. Inhale, slowly lower, and repeat for several reps. (Note: This is also a great exercise to try on a shoulder press machine!)
5. Add front raises to your routine. Holding a dumbbell in each hand, let your arms relax by your sides and stand with your feet hip distance apart. Then, raise your arms so that they are directly out in front of you, palms facing downwards, no higher than shoulder height. Lower and repeat. Or, try doing one arm at a time.
6. Tell yourself you can do a pull-up… And do one! Ever tried an assisted pull-up machine? They’re perfect for people who are still building up enough body strength to support their own weight. With an assisted pull-up machine you’ll still get a heck of a shoulder and back workout, but you won’t be left helplessly dangling from the pull-up bar!
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