45-Degree Shoulder Raise: Powerful Shoulders without Pain

“I started doing the 45-degree shoulder raise to develop my shoulder muscles. But all I got were pains in my shoulders and neck. What am I doing wrong?”

If the 45-degree shoulder raise is causing pain in your neck, shoulder, and/or back, you’re likely doing something wrong. Don’t be discouraged. View this 1-minute video from the exercise experts at the renowned Pritikin Longevity Center in Miami, and you’ll learn how to do this exercise correctly and safely. You’ll feel the power, not the pain.

From exercise physiologists Ivan Ferran, Jamie Costello, and Jackie Gavino at the Pritikin Longevity Center, get tips on building strong shoulders safely.

Stronger Shoulders, Better Life

Unless you plan to be a power lifter, muscle strength is more than an end in itself.

Strong shoulders are a means to a better daily life. You can do more, do many things more easily, and do it all without pain and fear of injury.

You can lift the food processor onto the upper kitchen shelf, or your carry-on into the overhead bin. You can heft a bag of fertilizer and pour its contents into your garden soil. Or raise a giggling baby into the air.

In addition, exercising major muscles increases blood flow and burns calories. Your body composition improves as you reduce fat and build muscle. With your new-found abilities and confidence, you can’t help but look and feel better.

Powerful Shoulders Without Pain

So it’s time to begin by watching the video from the Pritikin experts. Then imitate what you see. When first starting this exercise, use a light dumbbell or light tension in your resistance band so that you can lift your arms easily and focus on correct form.

Stand erect with good posture, palms facing each other at the sides of your body. Keeping your shoulders back and down, slowly and smoothly raise the bands or weights at a 45-degree angle to your body.

Done properly, your arms make a Y-shape with your body. Don’t bring the weights or bands straight up in front of you or straight out to your sides, but half way between these two positions. Raise the weights to shoulder height or slightly higher, pause at the top, exhale, and then bring them down slowly and smoothly to your sides again.

Keeping Proper Form

To avoid the possibility of pain or injury, it is important to keep proper form throughout the exercise. Maintain good posture and keep your shoulders down and relaxed. Do not rock your body or hunch your shoulders to lift the dumbbells or stretch out the bands.

Jamie Costello Shows You How to Exercise Without Pain

Jamie Costello, MSC, Exercise Director at Pritikin: “Many of our guests have difficulty exercising because it hurts. But by the time they leave us, they’re doing much better. The expert attention they receive here is a huge help.”

If you can’t do 8 to 12 repetitions without the strain breaking your form, reduce the weight of the dumbbell or loosen the tension on the band.

8 to 12 times

Repeat the shoulder lift 8 to 12 times for each set. Do 2 sets for each side of the body, and repeat 3 times a week with 48 to 72 hours between sessions for your muscles to recover. You can do both sides of the body at the same time, or do them separately if that is more comfortable.

When it becomes easy to do all repetitions and sets, increase the weight of the dumbbell or the tension of the band.

Powerful Shoulders Without Pain | Pritikin Coaching

When you are first learning the 45-degree shoulder raise, it is best to be observed by a companion or, better yet, a university-degreed, qualified trainer like those at the Pritikin Longevity Center. It’s your best insurance that you’re using the proper technique. Do it right, and the 45-degree shoulder raise will reward you with enhanced strength and capability.

Strength Exercises | Key Benefits, Recommendations

We tend to know the benefits of cardiovascular exercises like jogging or swimming. They improve heart function and circulation. They also help lower blood pressure and reduce risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.

But many of us don’t fully understand, or appreciate, the benefits of strength (also called resistance) exercises such as the 45-degree shoulder raise.

Strength exercises are exercises that strengthen all the major muscle groups of the body. If you do them regularly, you’ll reap huge benefits:

  • You’ll feel your muscles grow firmer and more powerful as your endurance increases.
  • Your coordination, agility, and balance improve.
  • You can better perform a myriad of daily activities – like climbing stairs, getting in and out of your car, carrying groceries, playing golf, hiking the countryside, and playing basketball with the kids. You do them all with greater ease, confidence, and joy.
  • As you increase strength and agility, you reduce the chance of falls and injuries.
  • You improve your body composition. That’s because as you build lean muscle, you reduce body fat. As you lower your percentage of body fat, you lower your risk of heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and even some forms of cancer.
  • Finally, strength training helps prevent bone loss, even in those with osteoporosis.

Along with all the above, you’ll also look and feel better. There’ll be more pep in your step.

“And your body—from calves and thighs to butt and stomach to chest and arms—will definitely look fitter and trimmer,” encourages Pritikin’s Exercise Director Jamie Costello.

“But the key to all these benefits is not just doing strength exercises, but doing them right. If done incorrectly, they could create pain and keep you from exercising. They might even cause injury, which would also put you on the sidelines,” cautions Jamie.

To accentuate the positive benefits and eliminate the negatives, “we focus on one-on-one guidance here at Pritikin,” says Jamie. “Within a week or two, our guests are noticing that their muscles are automatically falling into correct form, and they’re feeling the benefits.”

Pritikin Basic 8

In addition to the 45-degree shoulder raise, there are 7 other exercises that are part of the Pritikin Video Series for strengthening the body’s major muscle groups.

All 8 are:
1. Squat: When done correctly, the squat exercise not only helps you look better (who doesn’t want a nicer-looking butt?), it makes life better. That’s because squatting is a movement we use in all sorts of everyday activities.
Watch the How To Do Squats Without Knee Pain video »
2. Calf Raise: Calf raises are a great exercise for toning up legs. What’s more, calf raises train your body to maintain balance, which can help you avoid nasty falls. Watch the Calf Raises Video: How To Shape Up Your Legs Without Pain »
3. Chest Press: The chest press not only tones your chest, shoulders, and arms, it strengthens your core. But it’s really important to do the chest press correctly to avoid pain and injury.
Watch the Chest Press Video: Tone Your Upper Body Without Pain or Injury »
4. One Arm Dumbbell Row: This exercise builds a strong back. It also strengthens your shoulders, upper arms, and core. You’ll be able to walk and stand longer – at football games, at museums – without having to contend with an aching back. Watch the One Arm Dumbbell Row Video: Strengthen Your Back Without Pain or Injury »
5. 45-Degree Shoulder Raise: The 45-degree shoulder raise can power up your shoulder muscles. You’ll be able to do a lot of things more easily, like lifting your carry-on into the overhead bins of planes.
6. Reverse Fly – Scapula Retraction: The scapula retraction is a great exercise for improving your posture. The exercise experts at Pritikin recommend using bands. Essentially, you’re moving your shoulder blades (scapula) back toward your spine.
Watch the Scapula Retraction Video: Reverse Fly | Build Good Posture and Strong Shoulders Without Pain »
7. Standard Crunch: Here’s an important exercise for your core. Your Pritikin video will show you how to start with the simplest and safest movements, and from there progress to more challenging forms.
Watch the Standard Crunch Video: How To Do Crunches Without Hurting Yourself »
8. Prone Leg Lift: The prone leg lift is a superb all-purpose exercise for your lower body. It strengthens the lower back, glutes (the three muscles that make up the buttocks), hamstrings, and core. Watch the Video: How To Do Prone Leg Lifts Correctly »

At the Pritikin Longevity Center, the #1 priority is performing every type of exercise correctly to avoid pain and injury.

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