Shoulder exercises are a basic method of helping to prepare your body and warm it up before you launch yourself into your official workout routine. Your shoulder can be thought of as divided into a few different sections: the rotator cuff muscles, the rear deltoids, the front deltoids and the middle deltoids. Shoulder exercises don't necessarily target all parts of the shoulder at once, so your best bet when choosing a shoulder exercise for your pre-workout routine is one which targets any one of those areas. Before you begin your real workout routine, it is always a good idea to slowly and gradually prepare yourself, which these exercises will help you do.
1. Lateral Raises
Lateral raises are the first shoulder exercises for your pre-workout routine. They are relatively easy to do, and you won't have to do a lot of steps to do them properly. With only light weights in your hands, either sit or stand. While retaining a small bend in your elbows, lift both of your arms out to the side, but stop before you fully reach shoulder level. Lower both of your arms in a controlled fashion to start another repetition. Ideally, you want to perform between one to three sets of 10 to 16 repetitions each. To get the most positive effects from this pre-workout routine, keep your abs contracted and your back straight, and also keep your wrists straight.
2. Front Raises
A shoulder exercise that targets your front deltoids, this one involves a few more steps than the lateral raises. Grab light weights in your hands and hold your arms straight down, so your palms are facing your thighs. Carefully lift your arms back up to shoulder level, maintaining a subtle bend in your elbows the whole time. Lower your arms down while you exhale. Instead of using light dumbbells, you can also use a light barbell for this pre-workout shoulder exercise. You will want to perform one to three sets. Each set should contain 12 to 16 repetitions, and it is recommended that you take a short rest of 20 to 30 seconds between each set.
3. Upright Rows
Stand with light dumbbells in your hands, with them close together and your palms facing you. As you bend your elbows, pull up your arms so the dumbbells are approximately level with your chest. The ideal form at this point is for your elbows to be a little bit higher than your shoulders as your wrists stay straight. Lower the dumbbells and repeat the action for one to three sets of between 12 to 16 repetitions. Again, in between each set, rest for up to 30 seconds.