This Equipment-Free Shoulder Workout Will Help You Lift Heavy Things Above Your Head

By | July 3, 2020

Butts, abs, and arms get ALL of the attention, but your shoulders should also be on your fitness agenda. That’s because strong shoulders support your shoulder joints, protect you from a shoulder injury (IDK your life!), and improve your posture, according to the National Academy of Sports Medicine. Win, win, WIN!

These moves from Dorian Cervantes, certified personal trainer and Strength and HIIT instructor at Obé fitness do all of the above without any equipment, says Cervantes. Hell yes!

That means you can crank these out literally anywhere: Your kitchen, your backyard, your driveway (again, IDK your life), or your bed. That last one might be a little tricky, but please report back.

As the legendary go-kart driver and athlete Mario Mario says, “Let’s a go!”

The workout

Perform all the moves below back to back for the sets and reps noted before moving to the next exercise.

Arm circles

Step 1: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and extend your arms so they’re parallel to floor, hands in fists palms facing down.

Step 2: Rotate your arms by making tiny controlled circles in a forward motion with your fists for 30 seconds.

Step 3: Repeat the movement in the opposite direction for 30 seconds. That’s one rep. Continue alternating for 3 to 4 reps.

Pike pushups

Step 1: Begin on your hands and knees and extend your legs behind you so that they’re hip-width apart and press your weight into the balls of your feet. Walk your feet forward until body is in an upside-down V.


Step 2: Bend your elbows to lower body until top of head grazes the ground, keeping your tailbone facing the ceiling.

Step 3: Straighten your elbows to return to the starting position. That’s one rep. Do 3 sets of 8 to 10 reps.

Scarecrow rotations

Step 1: Stand with your feet together and your arms parallel to the ground, palms facing down. Bend your elbows 90 degrees so that your palms face the wall in front of you.

Step 2: Rotate your forearms forward until parallel they’re with the floor. Pause, then return to starting position. Continue rotating for 30 seconds. Repeat the exercise 3 to 4 times.

Elbow plank openers

Step 1: Begin on your hands and knees. Bend your elbows to rest your forearms on the floor and extend your legs behind you so that they’re hip-width apart, pressing your weight into the balls of your feet. (Spreading your feet wider will make the exercise easier on your core, narrowing them makes it harder.)

Step 2: Press your left forearm into the floor, and lift the opposite elbow so that it’s parallel to your right shoulder. Simultaneously, rotate your body so that your torso is perpendicular to the ground. Slowly twist back and lower your elbow to return to the starting position. That’s one rep. Do 3 sets of 6 to 8 reps on each side.

Bodyweight Shoulder Press

Step 1: Kneel on the ground with your knees mat-width apart. Lower your upper body to the ground, extending your arms out in front of you so they’re shoulder-width apart.

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Step 2: Keeping your chest as low to the ground as possible, shift your body forward to bring your sternum in line with your thumbs. Then slowly press back to beginning position. That’s one rep. Do 3 to 4 sets of 10 to 12 reps.

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