Some may call them rubber ropes, but in the fitness world, they are more commonly called resistance tubing. These inexpensive, portable and lightweight training aids are perfect for your at-home shoulder workouts. Workouts designed to strengthen and tone your shoulders can help improve your posture. In fact, they can even help perk up droopy shoulders for that 'I feel confident' look. When setting up your routine, include exercises to target your different shoulder muscles.
Avoid injuries by performing a quick, 5-minute warm-up. This helps to loosen your muscles and prepare them for the exercises. The warm-up might consist of a light jog, shadow boxing or jumping jacks.
Do shoulder presses with your rubber tubing. This exercise not only works the muscles in front of your shoulders, your anterior deltoids, but it also helps tone the muscles in back of your upper arms, your triceps. Grab the handles of your tubing with each hand and stand on the middle of the tubing. Raise your hands up to the sides of your shoulders and turn your hands so your palms are facing forward. This is the starting position. While standing up tall with your back straight, extend your arms and slowly press your hands straight over your head. Pause for a count of two, then slowly return to the starting position and repeat. Do one set of 12 reps.
Stay standing on your tubing to do lateral raises. This is an effective exercise for working the muscles on top of your shoulders, your lateral deltoids, the ones that give your shoulders a rounded look. With a handle in each hand, start with your arms by your sides and your palms facing your thighs. Slowly raise your arms out to your sides and stop when they are parallel to the floor. Your body should resemble the letter "T." Pause a few seconds, slowly lower your arms to the starting position and repeat. Do one set of 12 reps.
Improve your posture and work the muscles at the back of your shoulders, your posterior deltoids, with pull-aparts. Grab the middle of your tubing with your hands shoulder-width apart and hold your arms straight out in front of your body. This is the starting position. With your arms straight, slowly pull the tubing apart until your arms are straight out to your sides -- in the letter "T" position. Pause for a count of two, then slowly bring your hands back to the starting position and repeat. To increase the intensity of the exercise, move your hands closer together when you grip the tubing. Do one set of 12 reps.
- Resistance tubing comes in different levels of resistance. Start with a light resistance tube. Then, as you perfect your technique and gain strength, move to a heavier resistance.
- If you're new to working out, the American Council on Exercise recommends doing just one set. If one set seems too easy, use a tube with greater resistance before increasing the number of sets. Intermediate and advanced exercisers should complete two or three sets with each exercise.