Tone Your Shoulders in Just 15 Minutes
The 3-Step Warm-up
These actions―performed without the weights―help increase blood circulation so your muscles work more efficiently and are less prone to injury.
Step 1. Arm Circles
Hold your arms straight out to the sides with palms facing up. Circle forward 10 times, then backward 10 times. Flip your palms so they face the floor and repeat the sequence.
Step 2. Walking Lunges
Start with your feet together and step forward with your right leg (shown, near right).
Go into a lunge, keeping your knee over your ankle (far right). Then, in one motion, straighten up and lunge forward with your left leg. Continue for 10 steps forward. Then turn around and lunge 10 more times back to where you started.
Step 3. Jumping Jacks
Do 30. Keep your arms straight and be sure to raise them all the way above your head.
Strong shoulders not only look good in bare tops but also help ease muscle tension in the neck and the spine and can improve posture. These moves target all your shoulder muscles and―bonus―work your legs, rear end, and abs, too.
Move 1: Lateral Raise With Stationary Lunge
Begin in a lunge position with your right foot forward, left foot behind you, and left leg slightly bent. Hold a dumbbell in each hand, with your arms at your sides and palms facing inward (shown, near right).
Bend your legs so the back knee almost touches the floor. While down in the lunge position, lift your arms straight out to the sides to form a T (far right). Pause, then lower your arms and come back up. Complete 10 to 12 reps. Switch legs and repeat on the other side.
Targets: Sides of shoulders, plus thighs and glutes.
Move 2: Hammer Curl With Press
Holding the dumbbells at your sides with your palms facing inward, stand on your left leg and raise your right knee so your thigh is parallel to the floor. Bend your elbows and bring the weights to your shoulders in a hammer curl (shown, near right).
Press the weights upward and straighten your arms so your elbows are next to your ears (far right). Lower the weights to your shoulders, then down to your sides. Repeat 10 to 12 times. Switch legs and complete the series again.
Targets: Fronts of shoulders and biceps, plus abs.
Move 3: Straight-Arm Kick-Back
With a weight in each hand, position your feet hip-distance apart, slightly bending the knees. Hinge forward from your hips, keeping your back flat and allowing your arms to hang straight down with palms facing each other (shown, near right).
Lift your arms up and back, keeping them straight, until they are slightly above hip level (far right). Lower your arms back to the starting position and do 10 to 15 reps. Repeat the set two more times, resting for 60 to 90 seconds between each round.
Targets: Backs of shoulders.
The 2-Step Cooldown
Perform these moves without the weights.
Step 1. Arm Circles
Do the same move as in the warm-up, but go more slowly this time.
Step 2. Shoulder Stretch
Reach your right arm across your chest to the left. Gently push in your right elbow with your left hand. Hold for 30 seconds. Switch arms and repeat.