Achieve Well-Toned Shoulders With These 3 Easy Steps (Part 1)
There’s no denying that triathletes have one of the leanest and most defined shoulders among serious endurance sport enthusiasts out there. But get a good look at a triathlete from the side, and you’ll most likely observe an uncharacteristic curvature in the upper spine making the shoulders slouch unpleasantly.
Hunched backs and slumping shoulders are quite common among triathletes. The combination of long hours of aero position on a bike, along with the slicing action when swimming the open waters (wherein only the internal shoulder rotators get to be used) can be blamed. And if a triathlete’s work is desk-bound, then that makes the matter all the worse! And if not taken care of timely and swiftly, these slumping shoulders can unfortunately become a lasting feature on one’s body.
But being fast and efficient at a triathlon doesn’t mean you’ll have to make do with unattractively slumping shoulders all your life. And just how exactly do you do that?
Here’s what you do:
Achieve Well-Toned Shoulders Step #1: Work on those chest muscles.
Your chest muscles will ultimately become tight if you sit behind a desk for hours on end, and of course, from frequently assuming the aero position and working the internal shoulder rotators when on the cycling and swimming legs of the triathlon event.
These tight chest muscles, along with frail external rotators from lack of exercise, are disastrous combinations, as these are the main culprits that’ll make those lovely shoulders of yours hunch.
Stretch those tight chest muscles without at all requiring any special gym equipment. Simply perform the doorframe stretch, and your shoulders should be just as how they’re supposed to be – strong and gorgeously straight up.
- Stand under a doorframe and reach for its top.
- Position your hands on the doorframe top making sure you’re anchored solidly and stably.
- Lean as far downwards as you can and hold the position for as long as possible, and you should feel your chest muscles loosen up.
Achieve Well-Toned Shoulders Step #2: Build up those weak external rotators.
Rotation exercises for the shoulders with the use of elastic bands are by far the most popular method of working the external rotators. But let’s be honest, the routine isn’t that practical. Not all of us have the luxury to actually stand around and perform dozens of repetitions of it.
Opt to try out rows and pull-ups instead.
These multi-joint exercises are easier to perform in that they don’t necessarily involve use of exercise implements. And because these routines will require you to move more parts of your body, then you’ll inevitably end up burning more calories while toning those arm muscles of yours too.
You’ll need to be a little creative if you want to integrate these exercise routines more effectively in your daily life. If you work at home, consider rigging your office’s door with a pull-up bar. This way, you can do pull-ups, maybe a set of 5 every single time you pass under the bar. Walk below the bar 5 times during your work hours, and that could easily amount to 25 pull-ups every single day!
If you regularly head out to the gym, then consider assisted pull-ups, seated and cable rows and lateral pull-downs too. Just remember to press those shoulder blades back while keeping your posture tall and proud when you do these routines.
Achieve Well-Toned Shoulders Step #3: Boost your core.
You’ve perhaps heard how crucial strengthening the core is countless times now. It can be annoying, but it actually makes perfect sense if you think about it in terms of this:
Your back won’t slouch as much even if you frequently bike, swim, or sit behind a desk if you’ve got a tough core. And if you don’t hunch at all, then that’s an enormous load off your shoulders – literally.
Triathlon junkies prefer planks as these routines seriously work the core as well as sculpt the shoulders.
Here’s how to best execute planks:
- Assume the front plank position and keep at it until you’ve finished deep breathings thrice.
- Get to a left side plank position next, and again maintain the stance for 3 deep solid breaths.
- Switch to your right side this time and keep at it until you’ve completed 3 full deep breaths.
- Lastly, get to a full-on push-up stance and maintain for 3 deep breaths.
Perform all these without allowing your knees to hit the ground. If you manage 10 rounds continuously, then you’ve definitely got one tough core. But if not, you can always perform these plank routines once or twice every week until you’ve fully strengthened your core.
Commit to these 3 easy steps and you should be able to improve your performance as well as achieve a cutting figure that’s without the unsightly slouch that triathletes are so notorious for.