Forget the exercise balls, pull up bars, the weights, and all the other gym equipment. Sometimes the best exercise equipment is your own body weight. You can use the force of gravity on your body and your own mass to give yourself a challenge as you work out. Pushing up the weight of your body can help work areas you might not normally work and can provide exercises that can be done anywhere with little to no equipment.
Body weight exercise for shoulders help to build up your shoulders quickly and effectively. They often work a lot of your body, giving you a complete workout that’s great for your overall health.
Body weight exercises for shoulders mass like the ones we’re going to show you offer a lot of benefits. They can help to improve your posture, straighten your spine, and strengthen your body. They helped to get rid of slumping and slouching in your posture so that you walk and sit straighter.
Let’s start with something simple that works your shoulders and uses your body weight to help you exercise. Planks are kind of like pushups for people who can’t do pushups.
These are a great way to start out your exercise routine and even warm up, as they don’t require much exertion from you. Holding the plank position for about 10 seconds or so is a great way to fire up your muscles and get them engaged in what you’re doing without straining and stretching them too hard.
Push Back Pushup
Pushups are great for building up your shoulder strength, but most people use that as a go-to exercise for building up their arms and improving their posture. Let’s talk about a pushup that’s a little bit different from the norm. In this one, you’ll start with the regular pushup position, except that your feet will be spread a little bit farther apart than shoulder width. Lower your body from this position slowly to the floor, starting with your chest. When you push back up from the floor, don’t push up straight like you normally would like to push up. Instead, push your upper body backwards in the direction of your feet. As you do this, allow your hips to rise and bend your legs, bringing your upper body backwards toward them. To return to your initial position, make sure your spine is kept as long and straight as possible and use your legs to drive the return to the beginning pushup position.
This workout will strengthen and develop your deltoids, triceps, abdominals, and pectorals. It helps to increase your pushing strength and builds up your core. It also works your shoulder muscles and improves upper arm mobility.
There are tons of different pushup variations you can use, and pushups are some of the best body weight exercises for shoulders. We want to share with you another pushup variation that really challenges your upper body and particularly your shoulders. The regular pushup is great for building shoulder strength, but this one puts extra weight on them, using the shoulders to support even more of your overall body weight. The typical pushup spreads out your weight pretty evenly across your body, but not the pike pushup.
The typical pike pushup starts in a position where your palms are on the floor as well as your toes, with your heels lifted off the floor and your feet angled towards your toes. Your hips should also be elevated, becoming the peak of a triangle that your body makes with the floor.
From that position, lower your head down towards the floor and toward your palms. You will be moving at a forward downward angle. Your head should just rest above the floor, not quite touching it. You can hold that position for a few seconds if you like before returning back to the triangle shape and the initial starting position of the pike pushup.
A variation of this is the elevated pike pushup. With this one, your feet will be resting on an elevated surface, like a chair or a step. You do the same push up form, but you will need to use greater force and exertion to push yourself upwards. Don’t try this variation until you have some decent upper arm strength.
What body weight exercises for shoulders are easier to do than a pushup? Let’s give you the easiest one so far with the prone T. For this, you simply lie on the floor, lifting your head slightly off the ground. Your chest, knees, and toes should all be touching the floor in the starting position. Your arms should be out to the side, resting on the floor. They should create a T shape with the rest of your body.
From this position, lift your arms upward, keeping them straight. Your arms should be extended out at a perpendicular angle to your body and your fingers should be extended fully as well. Keep your arms off the ground as you do the desired number of reps. Lift your arms up and down, kind of like a slow flapping motion. You can feel it working your shoulders, and this is a great way to target just your shoulders and nowhere else to build that upper arm strength.
You can also do a prone Y, where your arms are extended upwards and outwards from your body. Do the same motion where you keep your arms off the ground and lift them up and down slightly.
Side Plank and Lateral Raise
Let’s finish up with another plank exercise. For this one, you’ll be resting on your side. Start by putting all your body weight on one hand or an elbow while you’re resting in the side plank position. Your body should be kept straight, with a line running from your feet to your head. For this exercise, you can bend one knee, straighten both legs, or bend both knees. You’ll find that the most difficult position is to keep both of the legs straight, but you can choose whatever works best for your fitness level.
From this position, raise your hips off the floor and keep yourself elevated. Your hips will naturally want to drop down on the floor, but you’ll have to exert yourself to keep them elevated. Take your free arm that is not supporting you and raise it upwards, then slowly bring it back down to rest on your hip.
It’s crucial that you have the right position for this side plank. You want your hand or elbow to rest directly under your shoulder. If you move your elbow or hand forward or backward away from the shoulder, that can really put a lot of pressure on the shoulder and make this exercise quite difficult. Make sure your form is right before you start doing any reps with the side plank.
These are just a few shoulder exercises to get you started, and if you mix them up and manage to do a few reps of 10 each time you work out, you will really build up your shoulder strength. You can do the shoulder exercises a few times a week to give yourself more mobility and flexibility in the shoulders and to boost your upper arm strength. It’s a good idea to start out slow and not push yourself too hard at first. Remember to warm up and cool down so that you don’t have much muscle soreness to deal with after your exercise session.