Beau­ti­fully fit shoul­ders

Los Angeles Times - - MIND & BODY - BY RENE LYNCH rene.lynch@la­times.com

Men, you prob­a­bly al­ready know why it’s im­por­tant to work out your shoul­ders. So this ex­pla­na­tion is for the ladies: Fit, toned shoul­ders help you stand taller, make your waist look smaller and can help bal­ance out your fig­ure if you tend to carry weight in your hips. Plus, fit shoul­ders just look good, says Kim Lyons, founder of Bionic Body in Her­mosa Beach. (Proof: Look at Lyons’ pic­ture.) ¶ And ladies, don’t worry about bulk­ing up. You’d have to lift long, hard and heavy be­fore you’d even begin to get shoul­ders that would ri­val a man’s.

What it does

This ex­er­cise combo shifts be­tween work­ing out your shoul­ders and lower body and will give you a car­dio work­out as well.

What to do

Grab a set of hand-weights. Lyons does this work­out with 5-pound weights, but men might want to go as heavy as 15 pounds, and begin­ners might start with 3 pounds un­til they get the hang of it. Stand tall, abs tight, shoul­ders back, feet a lit­tle more than shoul­der width apart. Bend your arms at the el­bow so you’re hold­ing the weights at your shoul­ders with palms fac­ing each other, and begin to lower your­self into a squat. Keep the chest and head up, eyes look­ing for­ward, and fo­cus on sit­ting back dur­ing the squat. Go as low as is com­fort­able with­out putting un­due stress on your knees. (Ex­per­i­ment with foot po­si­tion­ing for max­i­mum com­fort.)

Fol­low the squats with a set of shoul­der presses. Go back to the same start­ing po­si­tion, and this time re­main stand­ing as you lift the weights di­rectly over­head, ro­tat­ing your wrists at the top of the move­ment so palms face for­ward, and then lower to your start­ing po­si­tion with weights at shoul­der height. When you’re com­fort­able with both move­ments, com­bine them: Per­form a squat, fol­lowed by a stand­ing shoul­der press, and then go right back into your squat. (Al­ter­nate arms dur­ing the shoul­der press to make it a lit­tle eas­ier.)

How much

Work up to 16 rep­e­ti­tions of each ex­er­cise be­fore com­bin­ing the two. Aim for three to four cir­cuits to­tal. You can per­form this combo two to three times a week, leav­ing a day or two of rest in be­tween. In­crease the weight to make it tougher, but you don’t need to go over 10 to 15 pounds.

Pho­tog raphs by Do­ri­ane Raiman Los An­ge­les Times

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