June 8, 2020

Many people don’t have access to or don’t enjoy doing weighted workouts so I wanted to put together some exercises using only your bodyweight! I’ve focused on shoulders this time because I’ve found great benefits in strengthening my own shoulders.


Some of these benefits include:

  • Increased range of motion

  • Improved posture

  • Better performance with other exercises




exercises that strengthen your shoulders will provide better support for your joints, help prevent injuries, and help maintain the function of your shoulders for longer.

A Little Anatomy / Background Information


The human shoulder is made up of three bones: the clavicle (collarbone), the scapula (shoulder blade), and the humerus (upper arm bone). 


The main muscles of the shoulder are the subscapularis, supraspinatus, infraspinatus and teres minor. 


The deltoid muscle is the muscle that makes up the rounded portion of our shoulder that is most commonly used when referred to in an exercise or fitness situation. The 3 parts of the deltoid (or 3 sets of muscles fibers) are called the anterior (front), lateral (side), and posterior (back). 



Various exercises will “target” or challenge different parts of the shoulder/deltoid so it’s useful to vary the workouts you do in order to avoid overdeveloping one portion of your shoulder/deltoid at the expense of another. 

Now that you have a little background information, let’s get into the exercises! I’ve included 5 exercises (plus a challenge) for you to try out. You can form them into a workout (which I’ve included at the end) or you can add them into your own workouts as a warm up or as a main exercise. These are meant to give you new ideas, encourage you to try new forms of exercise and vary your workouts, and give you a way to strengthen your shoulders without the use of weights (although weights do have their undeniable benefits).

Exercise #1: Shoulder Taps

  • try to keep hips as stable as possible

  • engage your core

  • don't sink into your shoulders

  • go slow

Exercise #2: Commandos or Up and Down Plank

  • engage your core

  • do not sink into shoulders or let stomach drop

Exercise #3: Push Ups

  • modification: drop to your knees

  • don't let stomach or hips drop towards the ground

  • actively push against the ground as you're coming up

Exercise #4: Side Plank (+ hip dips for extra challenge)

  • don't sink into your shoulder as you transition to your side

  • only go as far down on the dips as you feel comfortable with

  • keep chest open and body aligned straight

Exercise #5: X Plank Toe Taps

  • press up onto balls of the feet and send hips into the air

  • keep your back straight (don't round or arch)

  • return to correct plank between each rep

CHALLENGE: Handstand Hold

  • place your hands/arms beside your ears

  • don't sink into your shoulders (push through them) 

  • squeeze your glutes and your core

  • look behind you



To form this into a workout…try this,

Bodyweight Shoulder Workout

  • Exercise #1: Shoulder Taps- 10 reps (each side)

  • Exercise #2: Commandos or Up and Down Plank- 10 reps

  • Exercise #3: Push Ups- 10 reps (can modify on knees)

  • Exercise #4: Side Plank (+ hip dips for extra challenge)- 1 minute hold (each side) + optional: 10 hip dips (each side)

  • Exercise #5: X Plank Toe Taps- 10 reps

REPEAT circuit 2-4 times

  • CHALLENGE: Handstand Hold- hold a handstand for as long as you can (do this 3 times)


**NOTE it’s important to perform these exercises with correct form. If you feel like you’re doing it incorrectly or if you feel pain in any way, stop and modify or stop altogether. Then, consult an exercise professional who can help you figure out the issue. 


Also, it’s always important to stretch before and after a workout. Before should be more dynamic to warm your muscles up for activity and after can be dynamic or slow and gentle. 


(consistent stretching is also important for mobility maintenance)

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