Strengthening Exercises for Shoulders

By Kate Evelyn
Lifting even light weights can improve shoulder strength.
Lifting even light weights can improve shoulder strength.

When you’re out on the course for a long period of time, you may find yourself struggling to hold that heavy bag or to lift your club high enough to make a distance drive. Building up strength in your shoulders can keep you in the game longer. You don’t have to go to the gym to build muscles. You can do several strengthening exercises at home with very little equipment.

Shoulder Shrugs

Stand up straight with your arms at your sides, palms facing your legs. Pick up one dumbbell in each hand and grip it without clenching your fists. Shrug your shoulders up to your ears, holding at the top for a count of three. Lower your shoulders. Do a set of 20 with no rests in between. Start with 2-pound weights and increase the weight as you get stronger.

Shoulder Rotations

Sit on a bench or a chair with your back straight and your knees bent at 90-degree angles. Rest one hand in your lap. With the other hand, grip a dumbbell of 2 pounds or more. Extend the arm out straight in front of you at shoulder level. Rotate your shoulder back 90-degrees until your arm is out to the side. Move your arm back to the start position without lowering it. You should feel this exercise in your entire shoulder, including your shoulder blade. Do one set of eight reps for each arm.

Medicine Ball Toss

With a partner, toss a medicine ball back and forth, making sure to catch it with both hands and bring it all the way in to your chest. If your shoulders aren’t strong enough to handle a heavy medicine ball, use a beach ball until you develop more strength.

Angled Push-ups

This exercise is like a standard push-up except you push off from an object instead of the floor. Put the palms of your hands on a sturdy bench that is about 2 feet off the ground. Position yourself so that the heels of your hands touch the front edge and are about shoulder-width apart. Lower yourself into a plank position, making sure your entire body is aligned, tip of head to base of spine. Put all of your weight on your hands. Bend your elbows out to the sides as you press your body toward the bench. Straighten your arms without locking your elbows. Repeat 15 times, resting at the top of each push-up for a count of four.

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