Shoulder workouts are an essential part of any fitness routine, as they help to strengthen the muscles supporting the shoulder joint and improve shoulder stability. Strong shoulders are also crucial for performing everyday tasks such as reaching overhead, opening jars, and picking up children. While many people may think that they need a gym membership or expensive equipment to work on their shoulders, there are plenty of effective shoulder workout exercises that can be done at home with minimal equipment. There are some simple yet effective shoulder exercises that you can integrate into your calisthenics shoulder workouts. We will discuss three beneficial shoulder workouts that can be done at home, their variations and how to perform them correctly.
Pike pushups are a great exercise for building shoulder and core strength. They are a variation of the regular pushup that places more emphasis on the muscles such as anterior deltoids, pectoralis major, pectoralis minor, serratus anterior, biceps brachii, triceps brachii, wrist muscles, and core muscles. Pike pushup can be done at home with no equipment, making them a convenient exercise for those who don’t have access to a gym.
How to Perform Pike Pushups
To perform pike pushup, follow these steps:
- Start in a plank position with your arms shoulder-width apart and your shoulders stacked on top of your wrists.
- Raise your hips up so that they are higher than your torso, forming an inverted V shape with your body.
- Keep your arms and legs as straight as possible.
- Lower your head towards the ground by bending your elbows.
- Push back up into the starting position by straightening your arms.
It’s important to keep your core and legs engaged throughout the exercise to maintain proper form.
Variations of Pike Pushup
There are several variations of pike pushups that can be done to increase the difficulty of the exercise:
- Elevated Pike Pushup: Place your feet on an elevated surface such as a bench or chair to increase the range of motion and difficulty of the exercise.
- Decline Pike Pushup: Place your hands on an elevated surface such as a bench or chair to increase the range of motion and difficulty of the exercise.
- Pike Pushup with Knee Tuck: After completing a pike pushup, bring your knees towards your chest while keeping your feet off the ground.
Just as the regular move, decline, knee tuck and elevated pike pushup are great exercises for building shoulder and core strength that can be easily done at home. These variations offer several benefits such as improving upper body strength, engaging the core, and developing body awareness and coordination.
The Arnold press is a popular exercise that targets the shoulders and is named after the famous bodybuilder and actor Arnold Schwarzenegger. While some people may argue that the Arnold press is a injuring exercise, it is not as dangerous as some would claim. As long as your form is on point, the Arnold press will prove to be a great all-around shoulder exercise that hits major muscles including all shoulder muscle heads. More specifically, as a variation of the dumbbell shoulder press, arm rotation engages the anterior deltoids, medial deltoids, posterior deltoids, trapezius, and triceps brachii.
It can be done at home with dumbbells, making it a convenient exercise for those who don’t have a gym membership.
Arnold Press Form
To perform the Arnold press at home, follow these steps:
- Sit on a bench or chair with your back straight and your feet flat on the ground.
- Hold a dumbbell in each hand with your palms facing your body and your elbows bent at a 90-degree angle.
- Lift the dumbbells to shoulder height, keeping your palms facing your body.
- As you lift the dumbbells, rotate your palms so that they are facing forward.
- Press the dumbbells up and overhead, straightening your arms.
- As you lower the dumbbells back down, rotate your palms back to the starting position with your palms facing your body.
It’s important to keep your core engaged and your back straight throughout the exercise to maintain a proper form.
Seated Arnold Press
The seated Arnold press is a variation of the Arnold press that is done while sitting down. It is a great exercise for those who have lower back pain or want to focus more on their shoulders. To perform the seated Arnold press, follow the same steps as the Arnold press, but sit on a bench or chair with your back straight and your feet flat on the ground.
We can notice some differences in when comparing the mechanics of shoulder press vs arnold press. One one hand, Arnold press incorporates arm rotation as you lift the weights, which engages more muscles in the shoulders and upper back. The shoulder press, however, involves lifting the weights straight up and down without any rotation. Both variations can help to get intended results by keeping in mind different Arnold press muscles worked.
The planche lean is a fundamental exercise for building shoulder and core strength, which is essential for performing advanced calisthenics movements such as the planche. It involves leaning forward while maintaining a straight body position, which engages muscles including the anterior deltoids, pectoralis major, pectoralis minor, serratus anterior, biceps brachii, triceps brachii, wrist muscles, rhomboids, levator scapulae, trapezius, rectus abdominis, transverse abdominis, obliquus externus, erector spinae, quadriceps, calf muscles, hamstrings muscles, neck muscles, and hip muscles. The planche lean can be done at home with no equipment, making it a convenient exercise to do at home.
How to do a Planche Lean
To perform the planche lean, follow these steps:
- Begin in a push-up position with your hands shoulder-width apart and your shoulders stacked on top of your wrists.
- Depress your shoulders and protract your scapulae, squeeze your glutes, and tuck your pelvis under your tailbone. Externally rotate your elbows.
- Lean forward as far as you can while maintaining good form and progress the lean as you get stronger.
- Aim to hold this position for 30 seconds before moving on to the next progression.
It’s important to keep your core engaged and your back straight throughout the exercise to maintain proper form.
Variations of Planche Leans
There are several variations of the planche leans that can be done to increase the difficulty of the exercise:
- Tuck Planche: This variation involves bringing the knees towards the chest while maintaining the planche lean position.
- Straddle Planche: This variation involves opening the legs while maintaining the planche lean position.
- Full Planche: This is the most advanced variation of the planche, where the body is held parallel to the ground with the arms straight and the feet off the ground.
Each variation of the planche lean targets different muscles in the shoulders and core, and they all require a high level of strength and control. The tuck planche is a great progression towards achieving the straddle planche, which is a great progression towards achieving the full planche. The full planche is the most advanced variation and requires the most strength and control. Considering all these variations, the planche lean is a great exercise for building shoulder and core strength that can be done as a part of calisthenics shoulder workouts.
Shoulder Workouts at Home?
Incorporating shoulder exercises into your fitness routine can be a great way to build upper body strength and improve body awareness and coordination. The pike pushups, Arnold press, and planche lean are valuable exercises for building shoulders and can be done at home with minimal equipment. These calisthenics moves target different muscles in the shoulders, chest, and core, and offer additional benefits. The exercises and their variations can be easily performed at home or the gym and are suitable for all fitness levels. Just choose the correct progression for your training and results will follow.