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Shoulder Workout Without Weights


Shoulders are an often overlooked, but important body part to exercise. This is equally true for those seeking aesthetic benefits as it is for those looking to increase strength. Performing a successful shoulder workout doesn’t require anything other than your own bodyweight.

Below we’ve listed our favorite shoulder workout circuit to do at home without weights. Remember you can repeat the circuit as many times as you want, depending on your personal fitness level. 

Key Takeaways

  • Shoulders are important to exercise for increased strength. Bodyweight exercises can be effective for shoulder workouts at home with no equipment.
  • Incline push-ups target the frontal part of the shoulders, plank to downward dog improves flexibility and mobility in the shoulders, and pike push-ups work the entire shoulder.
  • Elevated pike push-ups are more challenging and involve elevating the legs onto a higher surface. The crab walk exercise engages the shoulders, upper body, and core, using resistance, balance, and strength.


    1. Inclined Push-Ups

    Incline push-ups target the frontal part of the shoulders. To do this movement, start by finding a flat surface such as a bench, your bed, or if you have some home gym equipment, you can use a rubber exercise box.
    For the starting position, bend down facing towards the flat surface you’ve chosen and place your hands at shoulder width apart on the edge of the surface. Then, put yourself in a plank position, straightening out one leg at a time until your whole body is engaged.

    Start the movement by bending your elbows and arms to slowly bring your chest towards the surface. Once you’re just about touching the surface with your chest, straighten your arms to bring your body up again to the starting position. The key for doing this correctly is to not look downwards but a couple inches ahead of you, so your head is aligned with your spine, and you’re working the right area of your body. 

    2. Plank To Downward Dog

    This exercise is fantastic for improving flexibility and mobility in your shoulders. It works especially on the rotator cuff, which is one of the most delicate parts of the shoulder. So, for this movement, try to move slowly and methodically. The starting position of this movement is a high plank, with your hands under your shoulders, and your legs fully extended.

    Make sure your back is nice and straight. Then, bring your upper body closer to your lower body, pushing into a downward dog position.  You’re going to feel the stretch of your arms and the rotation of our shoulders as well as the tension in your legs. Return slowly to the starting position and repeat.

    3. Pike Push-Ups

    This exercise is great, as it works the entire shoulder, which is our goal. To begin, position yourself in an inverted V shape, with your legs completely extended. Make sure that the crown of your head is facing downwards and that you are able to see your feet. Your hands must be directly under your head. Start the push-ups slowly, and remember to have your back totally straight, as well as your legs.

    The only part of your body that bends are your elbows. Go through the familiar push up movement of lowering yourself and pushing yourself back up by bending your elbows, but simply do it in this inverted V shape movement. Do these pushups until the point of muscle exhaustion. 

    4. Elevated Pike Push-Ups

    The elevated pike push ups are a little more challenging, and should be performed slowly and deliberately. This exercise is very similar to the previous push-ups with the difference that your legs will be elevated onto a surface or platform that is higher than the floor, while your hands remain on the floor.

    The starting position is to bend down and put your hands on the floor at shoulder width apart. Then, place your legs one by one on a flat, higher surface such as a chair, bed, desk, or any similar piece of furniture. Straighten your legs and your back. Your head should be downwards in between your arms. It is important to keep your head straight too so it is aligned with your spine.

    Start the push up by bending just your elbows. It is fine if they move kind of outwards. Simply bend them slowly, then push your body back up again to the starting position and repeat. 

    5. Crab Walk

    The Crab Walk is good for not just your shoulders, but your upper body and core, too. This exercise uses resistance, balance and strength.
    Sit on the floor with your upper body up, legs out straight, your palms on the floor and fingers facing your body. Then bend your knees so that your feet are flat on the floor. Push up with your legs, while supporting with your arms, so the only parts of your body touching the floor are your hands and feet.

    Make sure that your hips are slightly lower than your legs. To start the movement, walk your right hand and foot backwards, and continue with the left hand left and foot. Walk around your exercise space like this for 2 minutes.

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