5 Shoulder Exercises For a Powerful Arm Swing
“In running, while the upper body gets far less attention than the lower half, its importance in overall running foundation and performance cannot be overstressed,” Dane Miklaus, C.S.C.S., tells Runner’s World. “Our arms are integral in creating a counter-balance with every step, as well as helping add stability to our gait. On top of that, our shoulder positioning can either assist or harm our running posture, and optimising arm swing can elevate both speed and efficiency.”
To help you round out your training plan, Miklaus chose five shoulder exercises that also activate the core and target the muscles of the upper and middle back.
How to do it: Perform each exercise below for the number of reps listed, resting 20 seconds between exercises. Repeat the full circuit a total of 3 times.
Push-Up to Shoulder Tap
Start in a high plank position, shoulders over wrists, core engaged so body forms a straight line from shoulders to hips to heels. Engage your glutes and thighs to keep your legs straight. Bend elbows to lower chest to the floor, then push back up to high plank position. Tap right shoulder with left hand, then return to a high plank position. Tap left shoulder with right hand, then return to a high plank position. That’s one rep. Complete 10 reps.
Dumbbell Front Raise
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart in a “kickstand” position (left foot slightly staggered in front of the right foot with the right heel raised) and hold a dumbbell in each hand, palms down. Keeping the core engaged and elbows straight, lift dumbbells up in front of you to shoulder height. Slowly lower your arms to the starting position. Complete 15 reps.
Dumbbell Lat Press-Down
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold a dumbbell in each hand, palms down. Keeping core engaged and back flat, bend knees slightly and hinge forward at waist so that your torso is nearly parallel to the ground and your arms are hanging directly below your shoulders. This is the starting position. Keeping your neck neutral and elbows straight, press your arms back and up so that the dumbbells are in line with your hips. Slowly return to the starting position. Complete 15 reps.
Mini Band External Rotation
Stand with the feet shoulder-width apart and loop a mini band around both wrists. Make loose fists with both hands and bend elbows 90 degrees so that your hands are directly in front of you. This is the starting position. Keeping core engaged and elbows tucked in toward ribs, pull hands apart as far as possible. Pause, then return to the starting position. Complete 15 reps.
Mini Band Pull-Apart
Stand with the feet shoulder-width apart and loop a mini band around both wrists, palms facing each other. Lift arms directly up in front of you to shoulder height. This is the starting position. Keeping core engaged, pull arms apart as far as possible. Pause, then return to the starting position. Complete 20 reps.