If pumping iron and working out amongst the body builders doesn't thrill you, there's no need to sacrifice your shoulder-toning workouts. You can strengthen and tone your shoulders to look sexy in that halter top with exercises that use your body weight. Your body is an effective piece of exercise equipment; use your own weight to sculpt and define your shoulder muscles at home, work or in the gym.
Stability Ball Pushups
This twist on the regular pushup packs the same punch, and will help you tone and define your deltoids, or shoulder muscles. Place your hands just to the sides of the center of a stability ball while balancing the rest of your body on the balls of your feet. Maintain a straight line from your feet to the top of your head. Use your shoulder and arm muscles to lower yourself about 4 to 12 inches toward the ball. Raise your body back to the starting position with control. When doing pushups, it's always wise to focus on form, rather than quantity. Aim for eight to 12 stability ball pushups, three times per week. But if you can only do a few good ones, stop there and work your way up.
Challenge your deltoid muscles and work on balance with the pike press. Get on all fours on the floor, and then lift your booty and straighten your legs to get into pike position. Lower your body 6 inches to 2 feet as you bend your elbows. Move slowly to focus on maintaining form and balance. Hold the position for one count, and then use your shoulder muscles as you press your body back up to the starting position. Do eight to 12 pike presses, three times each week.
Start out on all fours on the floor, and then lift your tush and straighten your legs as if getting into a pike position. Round your back like a cat, and then walk forward with your hands while dragging your lower body behind you. Take small steps with your hands if you are just beginning a strength training program. If you're already in shape and want a challenge, take larger steps with your hands. Perform the cat walk exercise for eight to 24 steps with each hand.
Tone and sculpt your shoulders to look hot in that tank top with Superman flyes. Lie on your stomach with your arms extended above your head. Place your legs close together with your toes pointed. Simultaneously lift your arms, head, chest and lower body, as if you're taking off on a flight. Hold the position for 20 counts, and then lower with control. Do two Superman flyes, three times each week.
Mary Ylisela is a former teacher with a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education and mathematics. She has been a writer since 1996, specializing in business, fitness and education. Prior to teaching, Ylisela worked as a certified fitness instructor and a small-business owner.