Having six-pack abs or gigantic biceps is great, and it can definitely boost your self-confidence, self-image, and overall health. But if you really want to look like a force to be reckoned with, it’s all about the shoulders.
Having broad shoulder muscles is a surefire way to show people you’re the boss. Plus, strong shoulders can help improve your posture and prevent injury from most other upper body exercises.
You don’t need huge shoulder press machines or an expensive gym membership to put in the work. You don’t even need the space for a home gym. All you need are some resistance bands and the versatility of the Gorilla Bow to make those shoulders even bolder.
Let’s take a look at some of the best resistance band exercises for shoulder muscles, as well as some tips and tricks to make sure you’re getting the most from each rep.
Anatomy of the Shoulder
Your shoulder is composed of the deltoid muscles, and there are three main components. The anterior deltoid is on the front portion of your shoulder, the lateral deltoid is on top, and the posterior deltoid is on the back.
Your shoulder joint is a ball and socket joint with the most extensive range of motion in the human body. Making sure your muscles are strong and flexible can extend that range of motion and help you complete daily activities with ease. Your shoulder muscles are critical to providing joint stability.
While many of the exercises in this list focus on your shoulders specifically, you actually use these muscles in many upper body workouts. Everything from chest presses to tricep extensions requires your shoulders to put in the work. This emphasizes the importance of having strong, flexible shoulder muscles in order to make the most out of every workout.
Giving your shoulders the time of day is essential, and these five resistance band exercises will help you do just that.
1. Shoulder Press
One of the best exercises for your shoulder muscles has the name right in it. Shoulder presses focus on the lateral deltoid, which rests on top of your shoulders, but they also activate the anterior deltoid on the front. Not to mention, they require work from your triceps.
To do a Gorilla Bow shoulder press:
- Stand on the resistance band with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold the bar at chest height, palms facing up.
- Push the bar straight towards the sky until your arms are almost straight. Hold for a breath.
- Slowly return to the starting position. Repeat for three sets of ten reps.
Do: Try to use a high resistance to start out. See what you’re capable of, and then you can always lower the resistance if it’s too difficult.
Don’t: Do not arch your back. Keep your core tucked inward so that your lower back does not become stressed. If you can’t do a rep without arching your back, lower the resistance. It’s all about the quality of your reps rather than the quantity.
2. Front Raises
Front raises focus on the anterior deltoid on the front portion of your shoulder. However, these also give some attention to your upper chest muscles as well as your serratus anterior, which is underneath your armpits.
To do front raises with resistance bands:
- Stand in the center of the band and hold one end in each hand. If you’re using the Gorilla Bow, you can hold the bar.
- Place your palms on your thighs, then raise your arms straight up in front of you, stopping at shoulder height.
- Slowly lower to the starting position. Repeat for three sets of ten reps.
Do: Draw your shoulder blades back during this exercise to promote proper posture. This also helps to engage your spine and prevent your spine from arching.
Don’t: Do not bend your elbows. This exercise is really only effective if you keep your arms entirely straight during the entire movement. If you need to, lower the resistance so that you can complete the exercise properly.
3. Seated Row
Rowing is one of our favorite exercises because of how many muscles it works at one time. It’s a great exercise for your entire back, which includes your posterior deltoids on the back of your shoulders.
You’ll get the most from the workout with the Gorilla Bow. To do a seated row:
- Sit on the ground and secure the band beneath your feet. Hold the bar near your shins and bend your knees.
- Keeping your spine straight and at a 45-degree angle to the floor, pull the bar up towards your chest. Bend your elbows, keeping your arms at your sides.
- Slowly return to the starting position. Repeat for three sets of ten reps.
Do: Make sure the band is secured under the arch of your foot. We don’t want you to get smacked by the band. Also, make sure to keep your back stable and secure. When it comes to rowing, it’s natural to want to shift your hips forward and back. For this exercise, keep it steady.
Don’t: Do not extend your elbows outward; keep them against your body. When you bend your elbows away from your body, you’re actually working fewer muscle groups in your back. Proper rowing form asks that you keep your arms as close to your body as possible.
Shrugs don’t necessarily work your deltoid muscles in the shoulders specifically, but they do work the upper and middle trapezius muscles that connect from the shoulders to your neck. Your traps have a big influence on the appearance of your shoulders as a whole.
To do shoulder shrugs:
- Stand on the resistance band and hold both ends in your hands. If using the bow, hold the bar at your thighs. Let your arms hang down.
- Without moving your arms, lift your shoulders to bring the weights to the top of your hips. Hold for a breath.
- Slowly lower to the starting position. Complete three sets of ten reps.
Do: Use a higher resistance for this exercise. You aren’t exerting much force here, so you can afford to increase the resistance a bit more than you normally might.
Don’t: Do not slouch forward during this movement. Depending on how much resistance you add, this might feel natural. But make sure your back is straight, and your chest is proud throughout the entire exercise.
5. Band Flys
The final shoulder exercise on this list is another one that’s great for the back muscles, but it’s also good for working that chest. For that reason, this exercise activates both the anterior and posterior deltoids.
To do resistance band flys:
- Wrap the resistance band around both hands for grip. Hold your hands straight in front of you at shoulder level.
- Pull the band apart until your arms are straight out at your sides.
- Slowly return the bands to the starting position. Complete three sets of ten reps.
Do: Squeeze your shoulder blades together as you pull the band apart. This will help you work your back muscles more fluently while also helping you keep your arms as straight as possible.
Don’t: Do not bend your elbows. Try to keep your arms as straight as possible during this exercise to make your shoulders do the work rather than your biceps.
A Lot on Your Shoulders
If your shoulders aren’t begging for mercy by now, it probably means that you’re getting a lot stronger. Your shoulder muscles are a tough muscle group to target, but the results are extremely satisfying as you start to bulk up.
Exercises like shoulder presses and shrugs are great resistance band workouts for your deltoid muscles. However, as with any exercise, you want to make sure that you’re focusing on the quality of the reps rather than the quantity of the reps. One quality rep will get you results faster than ten improper reps, plus this makes it easier to avoid an unnecessary injury.
Want more tips and tricks to maximize your results. The Gorilla Bow All-Access Membership gives you access to on-demand and live fitness classes that let you get the most out of your Gorilla Bow. It’s like having a personal trainer wherever you go.