Show your shoulders a little TLC and you’ll tone up better. 68% of women who weight trained on their own, developed muscle and joint imbalances that can interfere with sculpting. Hence, leading to shoulder pain or injury, a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found. For sexy, healthy shoulders, try these tips from study author Morey Kolber, Ph.D., a professor of physical therapy at Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
Limber up right
“People typically stretch by tugging an arm across their chest, but that just pulls on the scapula,” says Kolber. To keep your shoulder blade fixed so you target the muscles, do the stretch (at left) against a wall or lying down.
Push and pull to stay balanced
For example, follow a set of push-ups with a set of rows, or bench presses with lat pull-downs. “If you do more pushing than pulling, you risk overworking the front of the shoulder and weakening the back, setting you up for postural problems as well as pain.”
Nail your form
For moves like bench presses and chest and reverse flys, keep shoulders even with your body. “Otherwise the front of the shoulder overstretches which can be harmful.”