Shoulder Workout: Endurance Burnout + Strength Exercises

Shoulder Workout - low weight/high rep endurance rounds mixed with heavier strength circuitsToday’s workout is a follow-up to the biceps and triceps one I posted a few weeks ago. Same structure, different focus. Shoulders are the target, but in a few of the moves, you’ll feel your chest and biceps getting a lil’ love as well.

Endurance + Strength Shoulder Workout

Equipment I Used:

  • Light hand weights (2-5lbs) — I’m using 2 lbs which was PLENTY high for the first endurance round. I probably could have done 3-4 lbs for the second round.
  • Medium-heavy dumbbells (8-20lbs) — I’m using a pair of 10-lb dumbbells.

Shoulder Workout - low weight/high rep endurance rounds mixed with heavier strength circuits

ENDURANCE

LIGHT WEIGHTS | 20 seconds each x3 without rest

  • Reach and Pull | Arms start extended out to your sides, palms facing up, soft bend to the elbows (arms make a “W” shape). From here, you’re going to pull the elbows behind your back, squeezing your shoulder blades together and then extend them back out to the starting position.
  • Flip the Cup | Same starting position as the first move. From here, keeping a soft bend to the elbows, flip your hands so that the palms face down and then up again. You’re tracing a “C” shape with your hands.
  • Lateral Pulses | Arms straight out by your sides at shoulder height, palms face down. Pulse the arms up and down.

STRENGTH

HEAVIER WEIGHTS | 30 seconds work / 10 seconds rest x9 (three times through the exercises)

NOTE ON WEIGHT: If you’re using the same weights for all your heavy exercises, you may find these first two moves to be too much. In general, we can go heavier with arm exercises in which we keep our arms close to our center of gravity; and need to go a smidge lighter when we extend out away from our core, such as with standing lateral and front raises. You can either grab a slightly lighter set of weights or, if you only have one pair of dumbbells, just alternate arms in the lateral and front raises like I do in the video. Makes a world of difference!

  • Lateral Raise (option to alternate) | Before you do anything, roll your shoulder cage up, back and down, opening up your chest. Then engage your abs, pulling your bellybutton in towards your spine. Maintain this upright, tall, open posture throughout the exercise: don’t let your shoulders shrug up or roll forward, and don’t let your low back arch excessively. From this starting position, lift your right arm up to shoulder height, palm down, at a wide angle out to your side. With control, lower it down to your side and repeat with the left arm. If you’re choosing the more difficult option, you’d do both arms at the same time.
  • Front Raise (option to alternate) | Same idea as the lateral raise, but you’ll lift the weight up in front of your body instead of out to the side.
  • Bent Raise to Rotation | Start with your arms down by your sides, elbows bent at 90 degrees (as if you were starting to do a hammer curl). Maintaining that arm shape, lift your elbows up and out to the sides. At the top of this raise, your hands and elbows should be at armpit/shoulder height. From here, rotate your arms open and up until they reach goal post position. Reverse the movement back to start. So throughout this entire movement, your arm is in the same L shape. You’re just lifting and then rotating from the shoulders.

ENDURANCE

LIGHT WEIGHTS | 20 seconds each x3 without rest

  • Bent Pulse | Elbows bent at 90 degrees, palms facing in, forearms parallel in front of your face. Pulse them up and down keeping the elbows in line with your shoulders.
  • Elbow Tap | From the first move, push the weights together (you can interlace your fingers if that helps) and while actively pushing, tap your elbows together.
  • Front Press | Trying to keep the weights together (or close to it) and elbows squeezing in together (narrower than your shoulders if possible) reach the arms up and down in front of your face.

STRENGTH

HEAVIER WEIGHTS | 30 seconds work / 10 seconds rest x9 (three times through the exercises)

  • Shoulder Press | Start with arms in goal post position: elbows bent at 90 degrees at shoulder height. From here, press your hands up overhead, bringing weights together above your head. Lower back down, but only so far as brings your elbows back to shoulder height. Don’t let them dip down lower than that. As you do these, be careful not to shrug your shoulders up towards your ears.
  • Arnold Press | This is a shoulder press where you fluidly circle your head with your forearms at the bottom. It’s easiest to start in the middle of the movement: elbows bent to 90 degrees out to your sides in goal post position. Shoulders should be down and back, not shrugged up towards your ears. From here, press the weights overhead and together. Lower them back down to 90-degree bends and as you do, close your forearms in front of your face, rotating the palms to face you. When weights tap together in front of your face and your forearms form the number 11, reverse the movement, opening up your arms to goal post as you rotate your palm outward and press the arms straight overhead.
  • Shoulder Shaper | Start with arms in goal post position: elbows bent at 90 degrees at shoulder height. From here, maintaining those 90-degree bends, bring your forearms together in front of your face. Return back out to goal post position. Elbows should stay at shoulder height the entire time.

Shoulder Workout - low weight/high rep endurance rounds mixed with heavier strength circuits

WEARING | Athleta leggings // Athleta tank (old but they’ve got a lot of similar high-neck tanks)

Enjoy this workout! It’s great to pair with a run or other cardio. If you’re a beginner, you might want to break it up. Do the first set of endurance and strength exercises and then save the second set for another day. Make sure to warm up the upper body before jumping into it and take some time to stretch afterwards. Let me know if you have any questions about it in the comments!

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Three Holiday Gift Ideas: Gift Card Edition

  • Fashion-lover or the guy/chick who needs some serious wardrobe help | Stitch Fix gift cards, baby! By now you guys know I love Stitch Fix! Get another fan of the service a gift card. It’s a great option if you know they love clothes but aren’t confident you’d be able to pick them out something specific–let the SF stylists take care of that. Also great idea for a guy in your life if you’re like me and find men impossible to shop for!
  • Blogger or work-from-home professional | I’ve talked about Breather room rentals on the blog before–I use them for shooting pictures and videos for Pumps. They’re also great if you need a spot for an off-site meeting, conference call, event. The service isn’t in every city, but they’re offering gift cards for the holiday season and the blogger or work-from-home professional would love some free time! Tip: If you use the code PUMPIRON you can get $45 in credit so to maximize your free rental time, first use that code and then cash in on your gift card.
  • Fitness lover | A gift card to your loved one’s favorite fitness studio is a guaranteed home run of a present (I know I’m always giddy to receive them!). Studio classes get pricey and even just a couple freebies is uh-mazing. Most Boston studios offer gift cards or some way to purchase credit for your friends and family so just visit their website or email the studio. For yoga lovers, CorePower is currently doing a promotion where you can buy $100 gift cards for only $80.

LET’S HANG OUT | YouTube // Instagram // Facebook // Twitter // Pinterest // Snapchat @nicoleperr

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3 Common Form Mistakes in Tabletop Exercises (+Workout Roundup)

Common Form Errors in Tabletop Exercises - tips for correcting them and workout roundup to put them to use!

Hope everyone had a great weekend! Joe had a nasty flu from Wednesday through the weekend so I’ve been on nurse duty the past few days. You have no idea how happy I am to see him go back to work feeling better. I was about to lose my mind loved taking care of him, but it’s good to see an end to the loud whimpering and overreacting pain.

I kid, I kid. But seriously this man cold vs. mom cold video sums up my weekend.

ANYWAY. As you guys know, I’ve been teaching megaformer classes for about three years now, and a bunch of the exercises done on the machine are based in a tabletop position. So at this point in my teaching career, I have seen just about every possible way to do tabletop exercises incorrectly–you’d be surprised how creative people can get! 😉

I thought it’d be helpful to go over the three most common form errors I see with tabletop exercises as it applies on and off the megaformer. You can watch in video form or keep reading for pictures and text.

Three Common Form Errors in Tabletop Exercises

Now if we’re talking yoga or dance, the following three “errors” might not be wrong at all. In fact, they feel pretty delicious when done as part of a yoga stretch. There may even be some exercises in which you should have uneven hips. Listen to your fitness instructor or trainer for guidance first and foremost; the following apply generally.

Arching the Back

Common Form Errors in Tabletop Exercises - tips for correcting them and workout roundup to put them to use!

Often we’re so focused on the glutes (or whatever the target muscle group is) that we forget about our core. Other times, we find that if we arch the back, we can get the leg up a little higher. But it’s important to note that a bigger range of motion isn’t always better. Make sure you’re engaging your abs throughout the tabletop exercise. Don’t counter an upward motion of the leg with a downward arch of the low back.

Leaning over to the Supporting Side

Common Form Errors in Tabletop Exercises - tips for correcting them and workout roundup to put them to use!

Ok not my most flattering angle, but this is really the best way to demonstrate the form error–and trust me, I tried every alternative praying they’d be better (LOL). Anyway, this issue pops up mostly with lateral exercises like fire hydrants and will be exaggerated the tighter you are through the hips. When lifting the leg laterally in a tabletop position, you want to keep the supporting hip stacked directly over the supporting knee; don’t lean over to the side. You’ll most likely find you can’t get your moving leg up as high if you do this–that’s OK!

Uneven Hips

Common Form Errors in Tabletop Exercises - tips for correcting them and workout roundup to put them to use!I see this one most frequently if there’s an ankle weight or other resistance (bungee cord, etc.) on the moving leg/foot. You want to keep both hip bones the same distance from the floor (again, in most tabletop exercises, not all). Try not to roll the target hip open or let it drop down to the floor. Keeping your core and the supporting side glutes engaged will help with this.

Common Form Errors in Tabletop Exercises - tips for correcting them and workout roundup to put them to use!

WEARING | Lululemon tank c/o thredUP (old) // New Balance leggings c/o NB // adidas neo sneakers (sold out in white but the gray is cute!)

So now that you’re a pro when it comes to tabletop exercises, give one of the following workouts a try (only the first one has a video to go along with it). Looking at the older ones, I was actually guilty of a these form errors myself. Kinda cool to see how far I’ve come!

Tabletop Workouts

Let me know if you have any questions, and as always, I’d love for fellow instructors and trainers to chime in with additional form tips!

Also, over the next couple weeks, I’ll be including three holiday gift ideas at the bottom of posts so be sure to scroll down each day if you’re looking for some shopping inspiration. 🙂

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Three Holiday Gift Ideas

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LET’S HANG OUT | YouTube // Instagram // Facebook // Twitter // Pinterest // Snapchat @nicoleperr

Outfit links and first two gift idea links are affiliate.

10-Minute Lagree Fitness Core Workout You Can Do at Home

10-Minute Lagree Fitness Core Workout You Can Do At HomeI recently shot a workout with my girl Sarah for her YouTube channel, Sarah Fit, and wanted to share it here as well for anyone who isn’t a subscriber. I also have a question for you guys below so even if you’ve already seen the video, still scroll down!

10-Minute Lagree Fitness Core Workout You Can Do at Home

You’ll do each of the megaformer-inspired exercises for 60 seconds (just like in a Lagree Fitness class) and there are wrist breaks built in so that you’re not in a plank the entire time. You’ll need a pair of gliders, a dish towel, paper plates, or anything that will slide across the floor.

My favorite part of shooting this workout was getting to sit there talking while Sarah did all the hard work (LOL). Not because I’m lazy–it’s just so much easier to teach and explain exercises when I’m not also focusing on doing them. Sometimes I’ll finish shooting one of my workout videos, watch it back, and immediately think of a million cues and explanations I should have given. I loved being in full-on teacher mode here. 10-Minute Lagree Fitness Core Workout You Can Do At Home

WEARING | Lululemon stirrup leggings (old and not available on the Lulu site but I actually bought mine on Amazon!) // Fabletics tank (if you’re a Fabletics member, take advantage of their leggings sale–2 pairs for only $24!)

Question for You

Now that I’m starting to get the hang of this whole YouTube thing, I want to make workout videos for older workouts in the archives. I’ll still post a new one each week, but maybe every other Thursday I’ll also republish an old post (#TBT) with a new video to accompany it. This is a great way for new readers to find the best older content they missed, and also an opportunity for long-time readers to try a workout that they might have skipped because it was unclear how to do a move from pictures alone.

So my question for you is: What workout(s) from the archives would you like to see in video form? My kettlebells are still in storage from moving so unfortunately a remake of kb workouts won’t be happening any time soon. Everything else is fair game! Leave a comment below or if you’d rather not, tweet me (@nicoleperr), comment on my latest Instagram (@nicoleperr) or send a carrier pigeon. 😉

If you haven’t already, be sure to subscribe to me (and Sarah!) on YouTube.

Enjoy the rest of your Tuesday!

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Outfit detail links are affiliate.