Lie face down on an incline bench with your knees bent and toes resting on the floor behind you. Take a dumbbell in each hand and let them hang straight down from the shoulder, with palms facing back toward your feet. Bend your elbows to 90 degree angles as you bring them up and out to the side. At the top of your motion, your elbows will be out the side at the level of your back, with your hands pointing downward. Next, slowly rotate at the shoulder and bring your forearms upward until your hands are at the level of your head. Your palms will now face downward. Press your hands forward in line with your body until your arms are fully extended and your biceps are right by your ears. Reverse back through the three motions to return to the starting position.
Holding small dumbbells in each hand at your side, stand with your feet approximately shoulder-width apart. Lift the arms holding the dumbbell until your arms are at shoulder level and are perpendicular to your body. Keep your arms straight; do not bend the elbow. Begin making small forward circles with your arms, using your shoulders as your focal point. Do 15 forward circles, then reverse the motion and do 15 backwards circles.
Position yourself face down on the floor with your arms straight and your hands and toes supporting your body. Your body should be in a straight line from head to toe and your arms slightly more than shoulder-width apart. Lower down into a classic push-up, then press up from the floor. At the top of the press, rock up onto your left hand, bring your right hand off the floor, and bring your right hand up above your head so that your body is in a T position. Your feet should turn so that your are supported on the outside of your left foot and inside of your right foot. Reverse direction and bring your right hand back to the floor, go right down into your next push-up, and then go back up into the T position on your other side with your left hand up in the air. See the full article description for an easier and harder variation on this exercise.
Lie on your back on a flat bench with a barbell on the rack over your upper body. Take the barbell in your hands with your hands wider than shoulder-distance apart and your palms facing toward your feet. With the barbell still on the rack, contract your shoulder blades together and downward to raise your chest toward the bar. Engage your abdominals by pulling them in toward your spine to create a muscular "weight belt". Lift the bar off the rack and, keeping it steady, bend and lower your elbows to the side until they are at the level of your back. The bar should not touch or bounce off of your chest at any point. Slowly press the bar directly toward the ceiling, returning the bar to the starting position just above your chest.
Using cables (or anything handy), create a straight line on the floor. Stand on one side of the line with your body perpendicular to the line, stand on one foot, and hop back and forth across the line, staying as close as possible to the line as you hop. Hop as fast as you can while maintaining your balance and form for 30 seconds, and then immediately switch feet and do another 30 seconds of hopping.
Lie on a flat bench with your feet on the floor and dumbbells held in each hand above you, with your elbows slightly bent and your palms facing inward with a firm, yet relaxed grip. Hold the dumbbells approximately shoulder-width apart. Keep your shoulders retracted and your chest high. Engage your abdominals to prevent your back from arching. Open your chest and, keeping your arms held in the same position with elbows slightly bent, lower the dumbbells down into a fly. Make sure to keep your chest flexed and engaged all the way to the bottom of the movement. Do not arch your back and do not allow the dumbbells to go below the level of your back. When you have reached the bottom of the fly motion, reverse and bring the dumbbells back up together to the starting position. Make your chest do the pushing; don't let your shoulders kick in. Your chest should stay flexed and engaged all the way to the top of the movement.
Place your hands about shoulder-width apart on the top of the sides of stability ball in push-up position with your chest directly over the top of the ball. Step your feet up onto a flat bench so that your body flattens out into push-up position parallel to floor. Your abdominals should be held in and your back should be flat. Squeeze in on the ball with both hands as if you are trying to pop it in order to fully engage your chest muscles throughout the motion. Drop down into a push-up, keeping your abdominals engaged as you descend. At the bottom of your motion, reverse direction and push back up to the starting position. If this exercise is too hard for you, try it with your feet on the floor instead of on a flat bench.
Lie back on a stability ball with your feet on the floor in front of you about hip-width apart and a medicine ball held in your hands, arms extended overhead with biceps beside your ears. Your body should supported between the top of your buttocks and the bottom your shoulder blades and your head and shoulders should be hanging off the other side of the ball. Engage your abdominal muscles and lift your upper body and the medicine ball up until your entire upper body is off the stability ball and vertical and you are holding the medicine ball out in front of your face. Keep your abs engaged throughout the lift, even when you are at the top of the movement. Reverse the motion and return to the starting position, keeping your abs engaged as you descend.
Begin in piked-up position on the floor, with your hips in the air, your palms flat on the floor a little more than shoulder-width apart in front of you, your legs as straight as possible, your feet hip-width apart with heels slightly off the ground, and your body supported by your hands and the balls of your feet. Keep your neck in line with your spine throughout this entire movement. Slowly lower down your body into a push-up until your the crown of your head almost touches the floor. Reverse the motion and push your upper body back up to the starting position. As you get more advanced, try lifting one leg up behind you before you go down into your push-ups or putting your feet on a flat bench and your hands on the floor. This will put even more weight on your shoulders.
Stand on the floor holding dumbbells at shoulder level with palms facing inward, your feet shoulder-width apart, and your toes pointed straight ahead. Slowly lower down to a fully squatted position, pulling your weight down through your leg muscles as you descend. Keep your weight back on your heels as you go down, your chest out slightly in front of you. From the depth of the squat, reverse and drive up through your heels to return to standing. At the top of each squat, perform a neutral-grip (palms facing inward) shoulder press up to full flex and back down to shoulders, then bring the dumbbells back to your sides and move into your next squat.
Stand upright with dumbbells held in each hand at your sides and your palms facing inward. Lift one foot slightly off the floor so that you are balancing on one leg. Lift your arms straight out to the sides until they are extended at shoulder level, then reverse direction and lower your arms back down to your sides, keeping them straight. Immediately raise both arms directly in front of you to shoulder level. Keep your palms facing inward, and your arms extended throughout. Do the pair of lifts 12 times for a full set. For your second set, switch your base leg.
Stand holding a dumbbell in one hand with your feet a little more than hip-width apart. With your palm facing forward, raise your arm straight up into the air from your shoulder. Bend at the hips and twist through your core so that your unweighted hand reaches toward the floor between your feet. Your weighted hand should remain straight in the air. Continue to reach downward until your unweighted hand touches the floor in front of and between your feet. As you lower down, your weighted hand will rotate and your palm will face away from your body. Return to vertical, keeping your weighted arm straight above you. Next, do a one-armed Arnold press: Lower the dumbbell to your chest while twisting your palm to face you, then reverse the motion and press the dumbbell back up to a fully extended arm with palm facing front and your elbow by your ear. Repeat for a full set of 10 on one side before switching to the other side for 10 more.
Set the Gravitron dip handles at a setting that is comfortable for your shoulder width. Grasp the handles in each hand and step off the platform onto the foot bar. Keep your posture tall, shoulder blades retracted, and chest forward in order to keep the work in your triceps. Set the weight to the most difficult setting at which you can do about six reps with perfect form before failure. Slowly lower your body down into the dip until your elbows are at a 90-degree angle, then reverse the motion and push yourself up again until you are back at the starting position. Do as many reps as you can at this weight, then change the weight to make it easier. To determine the weight setting for this and the next drop set, try to pick a weight that you'll be able to do six to 10 times while maintaining perfect form. Do as many reps as you can at the lighter weight. Finally, reduce the weight again and do as many reps as you can for a third time.
Grab hold of pull-up high bars or any elevated hand grips with your palms facing forward, such that your arms reach directly up from the shoulder and your body is hanging supported by your hands. Begin bringing your knees up toward your chest and shoulders. Try not to use your hip flexors; instead, contract your lower abdominals and tilt your pelvis to rotate your knees upward. Lift as high as you can while maintaining control, pause, and then slowly lower your legs back to the starting position, controlling the downward motion with your abs. Keep your arms slightly bent and your feet down in front of you as you descend to prevent any swinging tendency. Beginners who can't complete the 20 reps at once may rest every few reps but should still strive to complete the entire 20
Hook a rope tricep attachment to the highest position on the cable machine. Stand facing the machine and take one rope handle in each hand. Stagger your feet with one in front of the other. Keep your body tall, your shoulder blades together, and your elbows in towards your sides as you bring your hands directly down beside you, ending with your hands held at either side of your hips. Reverse and bring your hands back to the starting position, but do not bring your elbows much beyond a 90-degree angle.
Attach rope handles to a cable at the lowest point on the cable machine. Take one handle in each hand and twist around, bringing your arms around overhead, such that you end up with your back to the machine and your arms overhead and bent behind you, with one handle still in each hand. Place your feet shoulder-with apart. Next, bring your arms directly overhead by straightening your elbows, then bend your elbows back again, until there is little or no tension on the rope. Keeping this arm position, sit into a deep squat. Sit your hips down and back behind you and your back flat. From the squat, return to the upright starting position.
Take a plank position on the floor with your hands under your shoulders and your feet a little further than shoulder-distance apart. Engage your abs to keep your body flat—your hips should neither fold toward the ceiling nor droop toward the floor. Start by bending the knee of one leg and crossing the foot under and across your body. As you bring the leg under and across, lift the opposite hand off the floor, and then extend the crossing leg until you touch the raised hand with the opposite foot. Try to keep your hips level as you do this; stabilize yourself through your abs. Return hand and foot to the starting position and repeat do a total of 20 reps on that side, then switch arms and do another 20 reps.