It’s time to get summer-ready with a fat-burning, muscle-strengthening HIIT workout. The exercises in this routine target the arms and shoulders to make you feel more confident in those sleeveless tops.
Shoulders are complicated joints because many muscles participate in making your arms move in many different directions. However, one muscle in particular, the deltoid, is on top of all the other shoulder muscles, sitting at the very cap of your shoulder. It’s a three-part muscle covering the anterior (front), lateral (side) and posterior (rear) of your shoulders. This workout targets all three areas while also strengthening your arms — making for a complete tank top arms and shoulders workout.
What you need
For this workout, you’ll need a set of dumbbells. Choose a weight that is challenging, but enables you to do the number of repetitions outlined in the workout below. Each exercise targets the arms and shoulders in some way, with extra emphasis on creating shapely, defined deltoids.
In addition to completing this workout one or two times per week, it’s important to remember that fitness and nutrition work hand-in-hand. A healthy, balanced diet will help cut back on the layer of body fat covering the shoulders, hiding the definition of our muscles. Stay consistent with your workout routine and eat nutritious meals throughout the week to maintain a healthy weight, get toned shoulders, or decrease the number of the scale as planned.
Tank top arm and shoulder workout
You don’t hear us say this often: No warm-up required! This efficient arms and shoulders workout has dynamic stretches built in to warm your body up before starting the strength work.
Do three sets of the following workout without rest, then end the session with a stretch. As you progress through the exercises, remember that form is important, so go with a nice consistent speed but don’t compromise the quality of movement.
- Exercise 1: Arm rotation forward – 10x; Arm rotation back – 10x
- Exercise 2: Shoulder pulse up – 20x; Shoulder pulse down – 20x
- Exercise 3: Bent over lateral raises with dumbbell – 15x
- Exercise 4: Lateral raise with dumbbell – 15x
- Exercise 5: Forward raise with dumbbell – 15x
- Exercise 6: Diamond push-up – 5x
To learn how to do each exercise, read the arm and shoulder exercise descriptions below.
For both the forward and backward versions of the arm rotation, stand tall with feet hip-width apart. Keep your arms straight and rotate them forward or backward to trace big circles. Squeeze your shoulders as arms rotate forward and squeeze shoulder blades together as arms go back.
For the up and down versions of the shoulder pulse warm-up exercise, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Raise your arms out to sides, parallel to the floor, palms facing up or down, depending on which version you’re doing. Slightly raise and lower arms in a controlled but very fast pace.
Bent over lateral raises
Bent over lateral raises work the rear deltoid. To get into position, grab your weights and stand feet hip-width apart, bending at your torso until your chest is almost parallel to floor and arms are hanging to sides with weights in each hand. Lift arms straight out to each side (elbow soft) with palms facing the floor and torso forming a T-shape. Lower hands back down to start position to complete one repetition.
Lateral raise with dumbbells
The lateral raise works the medial deltoid muscle. Start by standing with feet hip-width apart, holding dumbbells with palms facing each other. Engage your core and with a slight bend in arms slowly lift arms to the side, palms always facing the floor. Once arms reach shoulder-height (don’t go further up), pause at the top for four seconds. Then, slowly lower the dumbbells back down to start position to complete one repetition.
Forward raise with dumbbells
To target the front deltoid, this arms and shoulders workout includes the forward raise. To get into position, stand with feet hip-width apart, hold the dumbbells with slight bend in arms, palms facing the floor. Engage your core and keep your spine straight as you and slowly lift arms straight out to the front. Once arms reach shoulder-height (don’t go further up), pause at the top for four seconds, then slowly lower your hands back down to start position to complete one repetition.
Place your hands on floor with index fingers and thumbs touching to form a diamond shape. Step back into a plank position with feet together and toes curled under. Tense every muscle to form a straight line from head to heels. Lower your chest to touch the floor with elbows tight to your body, then straighten your arms to push back to start position.
Make the most out of this workout by choosing heavier weights if your joints are healthy. Make sure you can complete the suggested number of repetitions with the weight you choose and remember, it’s not easy! The last three exercises should be challenging. For more workouts, sign up for 8fit.