If shoulders aren’t high on your list of areas to sculpt, they should be. Strong, shapely shoulders make you look slimmer and younger by improving your posture and balancing out your hips and thighs. And since women store less fat above the waist, you’ll see results from these 3 moves in just 2 weeks. Hello, sleeveless!
What you need: 3- to 5-pound dumbbells.
How to do it: Do the entire routine 2 or 3 times per week on nonconsecutive days. Complete 2 sets of 8 to 12 reps of each move. Try the Main Move for each exercise first. If it’s too difficult, do the Make It Easier variation. Not challenging enough? Try the Make It Harder option.
Related: 8 Ways Yoga Promotes and Stimulates Weight Loss
For quicker results: Do 3 sets of 12 reps of each exercise. When you can breeze through that, progress to the next level or use a heavier weight.
1. Plank Walk
Begin in push-up position, with arms extended and hands directly beneath shoulders. Keep body in line from head to heels. Walk left hand forward one step and follow with right. Walk back with left, then right for 1 repetition.
Make it easier: Begin on hands and knees instead of toes.
Make it harder: Walk hands all the way back toward feet, rolling up to a standing position (it’s okay to bend your knees). Then walk hands forward into plank position.
2. Split Side Raise
Hold a dumbbell in each hand and stand with left foot about 2 feet in front of right, left leg bent slightly. Hinge forward slightly from hips, arms hanging beneath shoulders, palms facing back. Without bending elbow, raise right arm out to side to shoulder height, thumb pointing down. Pause, and slowly lower. Do all reps then switch sides.
Make it easier: In starting position, bend right elbow slightly. Keep arm bent as you lift and lower. Repeat with left arm.
Related: 11 Hip-Opening Yoga Poses
Make it harder: After you raise arm to side, press dumbbell behind you so arm is extended straight back. Reverse the motion, returning to starting position.
4. Diagonal Front Lift
Stand with feet hip-width apart and arms at sides with a dumbbell in each hand, palms forward. Without bending elbow, raise left arm on a slight diagonal in front of you, from right hip to middle of chest. Lower to start and repeat with right arm. Alternate arms throughout set.
Make it easier: Hold a single dumbbell in front of thighs, one hand on each end. Slowly lift dumbbell to shoulder height. Lower and repeat.
Make it harder: Raise both arms simultaneously, bringing dumbbells toward each other. At chest height, bend elbows to 90 degrees with palms facing you, then straighten elbows, pushing dumbbells up overhead, palms still facing behind. Reverse the motion, returning to starting position.