December 11, 2009, Newsletter Issue #407: Isometric Lateral Raise

Tip of the Week

The isometric lateral raise is for those who want nice toned looking shoulders and upper arms.  The isometric lateral raise really stresses the shoulder and allows the muscles to work terrifically hard, making something that doesn't take much time actually very difficult.  Let's see how this works - remember, the posture is essentially the same as a Lateral Raise (from an earlier post):
(Some content from 'Lateral Raise' 1/5/2009)
Stand with weights in each hand and arms extended generally straight, down to the sides of the body with a very slight bend in the elbow. Contract the abdomen and the glutes (butt) slightly to ensure that the hips do not shoot forward or have the lower back arch excessively. Hold the weight with palms facing forward, then lift the arms laterally (to the sides of the body) while keeping them straight, stopping once parallel with the floor. Make sure that arms are parallel with one another as you lift and not in front of the body, or else rounding of the upper back will occur and the head will shoot forward (better to try and bring the weight almost behind you). Hold shoulders at 90 degree flexed point for as long as possible.  Alternate the palms from facing forward to palms facing up, going back and forth between the two for as long as the arms are held up at 90 degrees.  When arms fatigue, slowly bring arms back down to the sides of the body.  Rest, then repeat for desired reps.
It's very beneficial for the strength of the shoulder to do isometric (holding) exercises, just make sure that the weight chosen is not too heavy, for you want to aim to hold it up for at least 15 seconds.  For those that are looking for more toned/leaner arms and shoulders, use lighter weights and attempt to hold and rotate the weight for up to a minute.  Use this in conjunction with the lateral raise exercise for some very tired shoulders afterwards.

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