This exercise provided courtesy of Mike Clausen, founder and co-owner of DIAKADI Body training gym, voted best personal training gym in San Francisco by CitySearch in 2006.
Combine exercises to target more of the muscles of the shoulder complex—in this case, the front and middle deltoid muscles.
Shoulders (front/middle deltoids)
Stand on the floor with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding dumbbells at your sides with your arms extended downward. Your knees should be slightly bent, and your palms should face in toward your hips (see Photo 1).
- From the starting position, lift both arms out to the side from the shoulder, keeping your elbows straight as you do so. Though you are lifting from the shoulders, you don’t want to raise your shoulders toward your ears; think instead of feeling your hands rising away from your sides (see Photo 2).
- Continue to raise your arms until the extend straight out to the sides at shoulder level, with your palms facing the floor (see Photo 3).
- From the extended position, bring both arms forward until they extend straight in front of you, still with palms facing down. Throughout this motion, your elbows should stay straight and your arms parallel to the floor; don’t let them droop, or climb toward the ceiling (see Photo 4).
- Hold the forward extended position for one full second, then reverse your arms back to the side extended position, and from there reverse again down to the starting position. At no point in this sequence should you bend your elbows.