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Military (overhead) press

Shoulders

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Beginner

Set 1: 12-15 repetitions; Set 2: 10-12; Set 3: 10-12

Intermediate

Set 1: 12-15; Set 2: 10-12; Set 3: 10-12; Set 4: 7-10

Advanced

Set 1: 12-15; Set 2: 10-12; Set 3: 10-12; Set 4: 7-10

Set 5: 7-10

Equipment Needed:

• Dumbbells • Seated bench

Positioning:

• Sit down with a dumbbell in each hand and arms bent so the weights rest at shoulder level, while shoulder width apart. Use an overhand grip, palms facing away from the body. (It’s safer — and easier — to have a partner hand you the weights.) • During the entire exercise, be sure to keep your back (especially lower) pressed against the back of the seat and feet planted on the ground.

Completing the exercise:

• Breathing out, raise the dumbbells over your head until your elbows are straight. (You can let the ends of the weights touch at the top of the motion, but be sure not to let them slam together.) • Breathing in, slowly lower the dumbbells to the starting position.

Considerations:

• This exercise can also be performed with a number of variations including using a Smith machine, which usually consists of a barbell fixed on a steel rail track and includes a self-locking system, reducing the need for a spotter.

Frontal raises

Shoulders

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Beginner

Set 1: 12-15 repetitions; Set 2: 10-12; Set 3: 7-10

Intermediate

Set 1: 12-15; Set 2: 10-12; Set 3: 7-10; Set 4: 3-6

Advanced

Set 1: 12-15; Set 2: 10-12; Set 3: 7-10; Set 4: 3-6

Set 5: 3-6

Equipment Needed:

• Dumbbells

Positioning:

• Standing with your feet shoulder width apart, hold a dumbbell in each hand with your arms at your sides and palms facing your thighs. • Keep your elbows slightly bent.

Completing the exercise:

• Breathing in, raise your left arm in front of you to shoulder height. • Hold the position for a second at the top of the movement, and then, breathing out, slowly lower your arm back down to your side. Keep palms facing downward at all times. • Repeat the movement with your right arm.

Considerations:

• Keep your core tight throughout this motion to prevent your body from swinging and bouncing. • This exercise can also be performed by raising both arms at the same time rather than alternating.

Lateral raises

Shoulders

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Beginner

Set 1: 12-15 repetitions; Set 2: 10-12; Set 3: 7-10

Intermediate

Set 1: 12-15; Set 2: 10-12; Set 3: 7-10; Set 4: 3-6

Advanced

Set 1: 12-15; Set 2: 10-12; Set 3: 7-10; Set 4: 3-6; Set 5: 3-6

Equipment Needed:

• Dumbbells

Positioning:

• Grasping a dumbbell in each hand, stand with your arms at each side and your palms facing your thighs.

Completing the exercise:

• Keep your torso straight to avoid swinging and lift the dumbbells out from your side laterally. Keep your elbows slightly bent with your hands tilted slightly forward. • Breathing out, continue to raise your arms until they are parallel to the floor. Hold your position at the top of the exercise. • Breathing in, slowly lower the dumbbells back down to your starting position.

Considerations:

• This exercise can also be performed sitting down.

Upright rows

Shoulders

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Beginner

Set 1: 12-15 repetitions; Set 2: 10-12; Set 3: 10-12

Intermediate

Set 1: 12-15; Set 2: 10-12; Set 3: 10-12; Set 4: 7-10

Advanced

Set 1: 12-15; Set 2: 10-12; Set 3: 10-12; Set 4: 7-10; Set 5: 7-10

Equipment Needed:

• Dumbbells

Positioning:

• Stand with a dumbbell in each hand, feet shoulder width apart. • Your arms should be straight down in front of you, palms facing in and weights resting on your thighs.

Completing the exercise:

• Breathing out, use your elbows to pull the dumbbells upward. • Stop the movement once the weights have reached chest height with your elbows pointing up and out, away from your body. • Breathing in, slowly lower your arms back down to the starting position.

Considerations:

• Your elbows should be the driving force of this exercise. You’ll want to make sure they always remain higher than your forearms.

Reverse fly

Shoulders

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Beginner

Set 1: 12-15 repetitions; Set 2: 10-12; Set 3: 10-12

Intermediate

Set 1: 12-15; Set 2: 10-12; Set 3: 10-12; Set 4: 7-10

Advanced

Set 1: 12-15; Set 2: 10-12; Set 3: 10-12; Set 4: 7-10

Set 5: 7-10

Equipment Needed:

• Incline bench • Dumbbells

Positioning:

• Lying on the bench, position your stomach and chest so they are pressed against the incline. • Holding a dumbbell in each hand with palms facing each other, position your arms out in front of you with a slight bend in your elbows. • Position your feet in a wide stance on the ground, slightly wider than shoulder width.

Completing the exercise:

• Breathing out, move the weights out and away from each other in an arc motion while maintaining a slight bend in your elbows. • At the top of the exercise, your arms should be parallel to the floor. • Hold your position at the top of the exercise and slowly lower the weights back down to your starting position as you inhale.

Considerations:

• Squeezing your shoulder blades together while moving the weights out and apart from each other maximizes the impact of this exercise.